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Selective CO2 conversion to renewable methanol through innovative heterogeneous catalyst systems optimized for advanced hydrogenation technologies (microwave, plasma and magnetic induction).

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LAURELIN (Selective CO2 conversion to renewable methanol through innovative heterogeneous catalyst systems optimized for advanced hydrogenation technologies (microwave, plasma and magnetic induction).)

Période du rapport: 2022-11-01 au 2023-10-31

LAURELIN is a Horizon 2020-funded research project. Its main objective is to achieve better selectivity, yield and energy requirements in methanol production from CO2 conversion. The green production of methanol can drastically contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector, and contribute to the EU climate change mitigation objectives.

CO2 represents 60% of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions contributing to global warming. However, CO2 has an impressive potential as feedstock for renewable fuels and chemical processes. This is why, carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) is considered a highly promising technology for the reduction of the CO2 emissions, as it can capture and convert waste CO2 emissions into valuable products such as fuels, while at the same time contributing to climate change mitigation.

In parallel, there is a growing interest for the use of methanol in transportation fuels, given its many desirable attributes. Methanol is an excellent spark-ignition engine fuel, thanks to high octane contribution, easy distillation, lower boiling temperature for better fuel vaporisation and improved efficiency.

Methanol obtained from industrial captured CO2 and hydrogen may reduce carbon emissions by 65 to 95%, one of the highest potential reductions of any fuel currently being developed to replace gasoline, diesel, coal or methane.

The hydrogenation of CO2 into methanol technique nevertheless faces strong challenges and limitations, mainly related to chemical selectivity, process yield and energy requirements. By overcoming these challenges, the project will offer outstanding possibilities for the use of methanol as renewable fuel.

The main objective of the LAURELIN project is thus to face these limitations by introducing a new generation of catalyst systems, perfectly adapted to advanced reaction processes: microwave, magnetic induction and non-thermal plasma. Conventional heating will serve as a benchmark against those three catalysts.
The main objective of the LAURELIN project is to improve the methanol production from CO2 conversion, in terms of better selectivity, yield and energy requirements. LAURELIN project is introducing disruptive catalyst systems adapted to non-conventional reaction processes: microwave, magnetic and plasma induction. Future deployments will include the integration of an optimized hydrogenation process with a water splitting reactor (H2 production) and a CO2 capture system from industrial streams as feedstock for a “whole renewable fuel” production.

In view of reaching this final objective, the last period has been mainly focused on the design, building, and tuning of the different non-conventional reactors, as well as of the traditional high-pressure thermal reactors as benchmarking and on the initial synthesis of innovative catalysts.

The results obtained to this date allowed us to construct and start-up all the reactor prototypes: microwave, non-thermal plasma, magnetic induction and conventional thermal (as benchmark).

The reactors have been working with commercial catalysts for methanol synthesis and with the first generation of catalysts developed in the project.

The results are promising but conversion and selectivity are already far from the expected results. This work, done in cooperation between the European and Japanese partners, will be continued in next months, developing new catalysts and testing and improving them to obtain methanol.

A dissemination and communication strategy has been developed and implemented in these 30 months starting to interacting with target groups. Presentations in scientific and industrial events, a project website, social networks, two videos, several newsletters including interviews, press releases and other news were created and disseminated in the period have let reach around 7500 agents in the scientific community, 5150 agents from the industry and 7800 agents in the general public, between other highlights from the dissemination strategy results.
LAURELIN project will advance in the selectivity and yield of different catalyst performances to convert green H2 and CO2 into methanol. It is expected that the new catalysts will be more efficient than the conventional ones in the selectivity and yield for obtaining methanol. Furthermore, it is expected than the conversion through the new reactors based in microwaves, plasma and magnetic induction will improve the efficiency reducing the cost of the reaction and increasing the yield.

These results will offer alternative renewable energy sources with high caloric power and efficient costs of production to the transport industry, to help reducing the fossil fuel dependency and increase the portfolio of fuels and power sources.
Infographic about LAURELIN research and results