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Utilisation of captured CO2 as feedstock for the process industry


In the context of energy research, the focus will be on CO2 utilisation options that have the potential to yield a significant, net reduction of CO2 emissions in volumes sufficient to make a meaningful contribution to our climate change objectives. The use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery is out of scope of this topic. Projects should address the specific technology needs for capture and purification of CO2 emitted by the power or process industry to deliver the desired concentration and purity for the subsequent conversion process. Technology developments must be accompanied by a Life-Cycle-Assessment (LCA) study, identification of appropriate business model and measures to support market up-take.

Proposals should address innovative processes to produce high-volume added value products from CO2 and demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility in an industrially relevant environment through demonstration of a system prototype. The proposed technologies should also consider the energy balance and the type of energy required for CO2 transformations, the CO2 abatement potential (in terms of time-scale and volume) and process sensitivity to flexible (intermittent) operation. The implementation of this proposal is intended to start at TRL 5-6 and target TRL 6-7 (please see part G of the General Annexes). An indication and justification of the current TRL as well as a plan to reach the targeted TRL should be part of the proposal.

This topic is contributing to the PPP “SPIRE” (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency).

Related activities are supported under the topic SPIRE 08-2017: 'CO2 Utilisation to produce added value chemicals' and NMBP 21-2017: 'Cost-effective materials for “power-to-chemical” technologies for materials aspects', both included in the work programme part 'Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – 5.ii Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing'.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Capture of CO2 from power plants or industrial processes and subsequent utilisation through (bio-) chemical transformation into high-volume added value products (CCU) can be an alternative to geological storage which could provide an important cost reduction to the entire CO2 sequestration process. CO2 utilisation has the potential to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions if the CO2 replaces manufactured CO2 or the resulting product provides long term abatement of the CO2, or if CO2 replaces fossil fuels as raw materials, depending on the amount of extra energy used in the process. In addition, the conversion of CO2 into fuels could provide opportunities for energy storage and for higher security of fuel supply.

There are still relevant and significant scientific and technological challenges to be able to exploit the CO2 as a chemical and fuel feedstock in a systematic manner. Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of such CO2 utilisation technologies to produce added value products at larger scale, in an operational environment to be able to assess the industrial, economic and environmental potential of such technologies.

Demonstration, in the relevant environment and scale, of the technical and economic feasibility of novel and environmentally friendly processes for CO2 conversion to high-volume added-value products such as chemicals and/or fuels. Reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gases on full LCA basis. Significant decrease of the cost of CCU vs. CCS. Improved energy and resource intensity with respect to conventional manufacturing of the same product. These impacts must be quantified and justified.