Category: Natural Gas Techs

GreatPoint Energy

GreatPoint Energy

GreatPoint Energy
222 Third Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617.401.8760
Fax: 617.849.5691

GreatPoint Energy
222 S. Riverside Plaza
Suite 2750
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312.564.4485

Pilot Plant
Project and Operations Office
GreatPoint Energy – Brayton Point, LLC.
1547 Fall River Avenue
Building 3 – Suite #3B
Seekonk, MA 02771
774.901.5626 – Main Line
774.901.5815 – Office Administrator,
Kelly Jo, Direct Line
774.901.5814 – Fax

GreatPoint Energy is a technology-driven natural resources company and the developer of a proprietary, highly-efficient catalytic process, known as hydromethanation, by which coal, petroleum coke and biomass are converted directly into low-cost, clean, pipeline quality natural gas, while allowing for the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2).

GreatPoint Energy plans to build, own and operate large-scale natural gas production facilities strategically located at the intersection of natural gas pipelines and low-cost feedstock, as well as at locations where the CO2 produced and captured in its process can be geologically sequestered. The Company has identified numerous such locations and is in advanced development of its first commercial facility.

The Company’s cost of production is expected to be significantly lower than current prices of new drilled natural gas and imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the natural gas it produces, called bluegas™ meets all high-grade natural gas quality specifications. It can be transported through the thousands of miles of pipelines already in place around the world and can be used interchangeably with drilled natural gas for all applications, including power generation, residential and commercial heating, and the production of chemicals.

The Company has raised $140 million to date and is backed by leading strategic investors including The Dow Chemical Company, Suncor Energy, AES Corporation, and Peabody Energy, as well as major financial institutions and venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Khosla Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Advanced Technology Ventures, and Citi’s Sustainable Development Investments.


Hydromethanation is an elegant and highly efficient process by which natural gas is produced through the reaction of steam and carbonaceous solids in the presence of a catalyst. The process enables the conversion of low-cost feedstock such as coal, petroleum coke and biomass (wood waste, municipal solid waste, and energy crops such as poplar and switchgrass) into clean, high-purity methane.

The chemistry of catalytic hydromethanation involves reacting steam (2H2O) and carbon (2C) to produce methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) according to the following reaction:

Hydromethanation Reaction

The first step in the hydromethantion process is to combine the catalyst with the feedstock in such a way as to ensure that the catalyst disperses throughout the matrix of the feedstock for effective reactivity. The catalyst/feedstock material is then loaded into the hydromethanation reactor. Inside the reactor, pressurized steam is injected to “fluidize” the mixture and ensure constant contact between the catalyst and the carbon particles. In this environment, the catalyst facilitates multiple chemical reactions between the carbon and the steam on the surface of the coal or biomass. These reactions (shown below) catalyzed in a single reactor and at the same low temperature, generate a mixture predominately composed of methane and CO2.

Hydromethanation Reactions

The overall combination of reactions is thermally neutral, requiring no addition or removal of energy, making it highly efficient.

The proprietary catalyst formulation is made up of abundantly available, low-cost metal materials specifically designed to promote gasification at the low temperatures where water gas shift and reactions concurrently take place. The catalyst is continuously recycled and reused within the process shown below.

Hydromethanation Process

By adding this catalyst to the system, GreatPoint Energy is able to reduce the operating temperature in the gasifier while directly promoting the reactions that yield methane. Under these mild “catalytic” conditions, less expensive reactor components can be utilized, pipeline grade methane is produced, and very low-cost carbon sources (such as lignites, sub-bituminous coals, petroleum coke and biomass) can be used as feedstock.

As part of the overall process, the bluegas™ technology enables the recovery of contaminants in coal, petroleum coke and biomass as useful byproducts. In addition, roughly half the carbon in the feedstock is removed and captured as a pure CO2 stream suitable for sequestration.

Hydromethanation yields dramatically improved economics for the production of natural gas and an environmental footprint equivalent to that of the most environmentally-friendly commercial fuel.