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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Jasmin cropAhead of IEAGHG’S 47th Executive Committee meeting, ADEME organised a workshop on CCUS efforts underway in France. The workshop also contained a dedicated session on CO2 utilisation.

One of the presentations informed about the FP7 project SCOT (Smart CO2 Transformation), which involves partners from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and UK. The project identified a lack of cohesive strategy for carbon dioxide utilisation (CDU) in the EU, so one of the main objectives is to develop a strategic European research agenda (SERA) and a joint action plan (JAP). The focus herby lies on transforming CO2 into chemical building blocks, synthetic fuels and mineral products. Two interesting characteristics of the SCOT project are that it will also launch an ERA-NET call soon and that there will be an open consultation process, enabling interested third parties to engage in the development of the final SERA this month.

ADEME itself is also working on chemical conversion of CO2 to fuels, chemicals and materials. 30 different routes were scanned, 10 of them identified as promising, and finally three were modelled in detail: (1) methanol (MeOH), (2) formic acid, and (3) Na2CO3. The analysis showed that all three routes have a smaller CO2 footprint than their conventional counterparts However, the production costs of will be significantly hjosirer than for the conventional processes, with only the formic acid case revealing comparable costs.

Another presentation provided results from the French VItESSE2 project, including industrial partners Air Liquide, EDF and Areva. The objective of this project is to investigate the production of MeOH by hydrogenation of CO2 with H2 from alkaline electrolysis using renewable and/or low carbon electricity. Key areas of work in this regard are the development of a suitable catalyst, optimisation of multiple reactor concepts splitting up the catalyst, and reduction of the energy requirement of the process. A main result from the assessment is that the carbon footprint of the MeOH is significantly lower than for MeOH from conventional production, i.e. coal or natural gas. However, similar to the previous project, the costs will be hjosirer and the CDU process only reasonably viable if decarbonised and cheap electricity is readily available.