Natural Gas Discovery Drives Energy Revolution

Worldwide, the International Energy Agency estimates natural gas could account for more than 25 percent of global energy demand by 2035. Natural gas provides about one quarter of both total energy used and the energy used to generate electricity in the United States, according to the Dept. of Energy. Shale gas resources, known as unconventional gas, now dwarf conventional gas reserves in the US, Canada and China as well as major countries in Europe and Latin America. US natural gas proved reserves rose by 12 percent to 318 trillion cubic feet in 2010.

Economist Map
Source: U.S. EIA, The Economist
Trillion Cubic Meters, 2011/Latest Available

Conventional Gas and Shale Gas Reserves

Capitalizing on this market growth will require new technologies beyond petroleum. Current chemical approaches are limited, cumbersome and are only cost-competitive at massive scale. In addition, recent algae and sugar-based approaches to biofuels development have not achieved necessary market economics, due to high feedstock and production costs.

Calysta is developing methane as a new biological feedstock for cost-competitive, scalable biofuels production. Methane, the major chemical component of natural gas, represents an ideal feedstock for production of a wide range of fuels and chemicals. Methane is widely available from large domestic deposits of shale gas, as well as landfills and other sources. Additional supplies could be captured from “stranded gas,” natural gas which is now wasted without a viable way to transport or convert at small to medium scale.

In contrast to conventional chemical catalysis, Calysta’s biocatalysis platform offers performance and cost advantages including reduced capital cost, lower required operating temperatures, higher production specificity, improved safety and improved tolerance to common gas contaminants.