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Disruptive photonic devices for highly efficient, sunlight-fueled chemical processes

Objective

SPOTLIGHT’s key objective is to develop and validate a photonic device and chemical process concept for the sunlight-powered conversion of CO2 and green H2 to the chemical fuel methane (CH4, Sabatier process), and to carbon monoxide (CO, reverse water gas shift process) as starting material for production of the chemical fuel methanol (CH3OH). Both CH4 and CH3OH are compatible with our current infrastructure, and suited for multiple applications such as car fuel, energy storage, and starting material for the production of valuable chemicals.

SPOTLIGHT’s photonic device will comprise a transparent flow reactor, optimized for light incoupling in the catalyst bed. Furthermore, it will comprise secondary solar optics to concentrate natural sunlight and project it onto the reactor, and an energy efficient LED light source to ensure continuous 24/7 operation.

SPOTLIGHT’s catalysts will be plasmonic catalysts, capable of absorbing the entire solar spectrum. The space-time-yield achieved to date with these catalysts in the Sabatier and rWGS process are > 104 times higher than for conventional semiconductor catalysts. This makes the concept technically feasible for scale up without excessive land use, and makes it economically much more attractive because of strongly reduced capital expenditures.

SPOTLIGHT’s photonic device and process concept are perfectly suited for CO2 sources up to 1 Mt p.a., which makes them complementary to existing large scale CCU processes. For the EU, we estimate that the annual CO2 reduction through use of SPOTLIGHT’s technology is maximized to 800 Mt, which is approximately 18% of the current annual total. This could generate an amount of CH4 produced in the EU which equals 14.5 EJ of energy, corresponding to 21% of the EU’s current annual energy use, and representing a value of € 393 bil. Ergo, SPOTLIGHT’s technology reduces the dependence of the EU on non-EU countries for its energy supply, and initiates a new multi-billion industry.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2020-2
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK TNO
Address
Anna Van Buerenplein 1
2595 DA Den Haag
Netherlands
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 911 718,75

Participants (11)

UNIVERSITEIT HASSELT
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 292 930
Address
Martelarenlaan 42
3500 Hasselt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INTERUNIVERSITAIR MICRO-ELECTRONICA CENTRUM
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 219 428,75
Address
Kapeldreef 75
3001 Leuven
Activity type
Research Organisations
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 342 468,75
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
EU contribution
€ 471 285
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Munchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
CHEMTRIX BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 690 961,25
Address
Urmonderbaan 22
6167 RD Geleen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
SIGNIFY NETHERLANDS BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 551 000
Address
High Tech Campus 45
5656 AE Eindhoven
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUR LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 753 758,75
Address
Linder Hohe
51147 Koln
Activity type
Research Organisations
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 334 220
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
RINA CONSULTING SPA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 472 500
Address
Via Cecchi 6
16129 Genova
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
ACEA PINEROLESE INDUSTRIALE SPA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 290 000
Address
Via Vigone 42
10064 Pinerolo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
FUNDACION PARA EL DESARROLLO DE LAS NUEVAS TECNOLOGIAS DEL HIDROGENO EN ARAGON
Spain
EU contribution
€ 274 687,50
Address
Cr Zaragoza N 330A Km 566 Cuarte
22197 Huesca
Activity type
Research Organisations