Substitute natural gas (SNG) process

With over 20 years' experience, Johnson Matthey is the market leader in the supply of SNG catalysts and technology, with our DAVY™ licensed plants providing more than half of global SNG production. In addition to sour shift and purification technology and catalysts, Johnson Matthey provides a low risk way of converting synthesis gas to high value SNG through the licensed methanation process.

Our process is a clean and efficient way to upgrade the energy stored in solid hydrocarbons, such as coal and petroleum coke, to a useful and easily transportable form. The final SNG product is also high in quality, being suitable for injection into gas distribution networks or, alternatively, conversion to LNG.


A key step in SNG production is methanation, which converts synthesis gas (syngas, predominantly CO, CO2 and H2) into methane.

Johnson Matthey have over 100 years’ experience in methanation research. The methanation technology we provide combines our DAVY design with our catalysts, which have been specially developed for methanation. Our catalysts are the world’s most widely used and proven catalyst family for this application, with over 30 years of operating service for syngas to SNG.

This DAVY SNG process is based on extensive practical experience and has been consistently proven in commercial operation. We have developed a range of options tailored to suit the various plant feedstocks and needs of our diverse clients.

eSNG and RNG 

Electrolytic synthetic/substitute natural gas (eSNG, otherwise known as e-methane or e-NG etc.) and renewable natural gas (RNG) are chemically comparable to fossil natural gas but, with the key distinction of being produced from sustainable feedstocks.  

eSNG is produced by reacting electrolytic (green) hydrogen with captured CO2 from various sources, whilst RNG is produced from gasified biomass, that is further reacted with hydrogen to increase the yield of methane.   

The chemical equivalence of eSNG and RNG to natural gas allows for their seamless blending as a drop-in renewable alternative, with full utilisation of existing natural gas and LNG infrastructure including pipelines, terminals, and distribution networks. Their compatibility with existing infrastructure makes eSNG and RNG a key pillar in expediting our global transition towards low carbon footprint fuels. 

At Johnson Matthey, we have over 30 years’ experience in methanation deployment; the critical step that facilitates the conversion of sustainable feedstocks to either RNG or eSNG. This builds on our over 100 years’ experience in methanation research.

Johnson Matthey eSNG RNG


The Johnson Matthey offering for eSNG and RNG includes our JM DAVY licensed methanation flowsheet, a well-established and flexible solution that achieves optimal utilisation when paired with our proven methanation catalyst. We have designed our methanation technology to offer our customers an efficient package that is adaptable to all scales of eSNG/RNG conversion from electrolytic hydrogen and captured CO2/gasified biomass respectively.  

Commercially deployed at various:

  • Scales 
  • Geographies
  • Carbon/Hydrogen Feedstocks 

As demonstrable through extensive operational references.


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Licensed processes team