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Solar-Based Membrane Reactor For Syngas Production

Project description

A sustainable, single-step approach to syngas production

Syngas is a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide that is a crucial intermediate product in the chemical industry. The EU-funded SOMMER project will seek to develop a carbon-neutral pathway for syngas production by integrating solar energy into a catalytic membrane reactor to split water and CO2. This innovative approach will eliminate the need for fossil-based energy in syngas production and use CO2 instead of natural gas as feedstock. The proposed technology will combine a single-step CO2 and H2O thermochemical conversion process with highly selective catalysts, a dual-phase composite membrane and a concentrated solar thermal plant. The proposed concept will offer adaptable operation by alternating between two modes: a solar approach at 1 500 degrees Celsius and a biogas-supported approach at 900 degrees Celsius.

Objective

SOMMER will develop and demonstrate a novel carbon-neutral pathway for syngas production by integrating solar energy directly into a catalytic membrane reactor for the splitting of H2O and CO2 (e.g. captured from high carbon emitting industries or by direct air capture). This will allow SOMMER to overcome the fossil-based energy requirements for the production of syngas and to consume CO2 instead of natural gas as feedstock. Syngas, the mixture of H2 and CO, is a crucial intermediate product in the chemical industry. Thus, SOMMER will consider the entire value-chain from CO2 provision from a cement plant to syngas formation and further processing syngas to valuable and shippable products such as DME or methanol.
The core of the SOMMER technology lies in the optimized energy integration of an emerging single-step CO2 and H2O thermochemical conversion process supported by highly selective catalysts and a dual-phase composite membrane, and a concentrated solar-thermal plant to supply the thermal energy demand. The main outcomes of SOMMER involve the experimental demonstration and evaluation of the innovative solar-powered membrane technology, and the development of high performance and cost-effective membranes as key components, thereby bringing the technology to the next level. SOMMER will advance membrane manufacturing via slip-casting, as a more mature approach, and via additive manufacturing to optimize the effective membrane surface area in the reactor. The concept is expected to have the future advantage of prolonged and flexible operation by switching between two operational Cases: I) Purely solar approach at 1500 °C and II) a biogas-supported approach at 900 °C.
In addition, the identification of technological, ecological and economical potential for a flexible and highly efficient solar syngas production will contribute to the development of a detailed roadmap and provide the basis for the pre-commercialization through follow-up R&D development activities.

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Coordinator

DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUR LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV
Net EU contribution
€ 1 226 757,50
Address
Linder hohe
51147 Koln
Germany

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Region
Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Köln, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (6)

Partners (1)