222 S. Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606
GreatPoint Energy is a technology-driven natural resources company commercializing catalytic gasification to convert abundant coal, petroleum coke and biomass into low-cost natural gas (methane) while capturing and sequestering CO2.
Utilizing its proprietary conversion and carbon capture technology, GreatPoint Energy develops bluegas™, coal-derived natural gas. bluegas™ is 99.5 percent pure methane and can be transported throughout North America utilizing existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure, providing an attractive, cost-effective alternative to drilled and imported natural gas. Its environmental profile is as clean as natural gas; it consists mostly of hydrogen and therefore, has very low carbon emissions. Moreover, bluegas™ can be used in every application that natural gas is currently being used (i.e., power generation, residential and commercial heating, and production of chemicals).
GreatPoint Energy is following in the footsteps of the petroleum refining industry by implementing a more advanced and lower cost process for refining carbon-based feedstocks. In the early days of petroleum production, oil refineries – like today’s coal gasifiers – relied on intense heat (called thermal cracking) to break down heavy crude oil into light useable petroleum products. In the 1940’s however, scientists discovered that a catalyst could be used to minimize the amount of heat required. This lower cost and higher efficiency approach quickly replaced thermal cracking in oil refineries around the world.
GreatPoint Energy’s technology uses the same basic technique to “refine” coal by employing a novel catalyst to “crack” the carbon bonds and transform the coal into clean burning methane (natural gas). This single stage process is called catalytic coal methanation and forms the basis of the GreatPoint Energy bluegas™ process.
By adding a catalyst to the coal gasification system, GreatPoint Energy is able to reduce the operating temperature in the gasifier, while directly promoting the reactions that yield methane, CH4. Under these mild “catalytic” conditions, less expensive reactor components are required, pipeline grade methane is produced, and very low cost carbon sources (such as lignites, sub-bituminous coals, tar sands, petroleum coke and petroleum resid) can be used as feedstocks.
In addition, GreatPoint Energy’s catalytic coal methanation process eliminates troublesome ash removal and slagging problems; reduces maintenance requirements; increases thermal efficiency; and eliminates the air separation plant (a system which alone accounts for 20 percent of the capital cost of most gasification systems).