Project budget7 184 812 €
ERDF amount4 310 887 €
The coastal areas of the 2 Seas region combine (future) availability of renewable energy with strong industrial activity. This leads to the common challenge of handling renewable energy surpluses, diversifying feedstocks in the chemical industry, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in energy intensive industry, and meeting societal and regulatory demands on advanced fuels and sustainable chemicals. "Power-to-X” concepts, using (renewable) electricity as a replacement for oil and gas energy sources in the production of chemical products, allow for the combination of a solution to these challenges with the creation of valuable products. However, several technical and economic hurdles still need to be overcome. These are related to the cost of renewable hydrogen, the technological immaturity of novel electrochemical processes, and the need for demonstrators and business case calculations to convince industry to invest in further development and implementation of these technologies.
The overall objective of the project is to stimulate investment in and implementation of Power-to-X technologies by developing innovative direct and indirect conversion processes for the chemical industry towards higher TRL’s, while making use of renewable electricity and lowering the carbon footprint. With these technologies, valuable fuels and platform chemicals can be produced from renewable raw materials while decreasing costs and increasing flexibility. The aim is to develop at least two pilot demonstrators at TRL 6 – 7 and two bench scale pilot installations at TRL 4 with supporting feasibility evaluations, thereby lowering the risks of investment for companies, especially SME's, and positioning the 2 Seas region as an innovation leader in Power-to-X sustainable technologies.
- Two highly flexible Power-to-X pilot demonstrators, one for the indirect conversion of electricity to fuels and one for the direct conversion of electricity with CO2 to platform chemicals;
- A highly flexible Power-to-X bench scale pilot installation for the direct electrochemical production of chemicals;
- A bench scale pilot installation for lifetime testing of novel electrolyser concepts;
- Two feasibility studies for Power-to-X technologies (one each for the direct and indirect routes) which are based on high level system analysis, roadmapping, detailed business case calculations, and a technology implementation plan.
Cross border approach
- The need for combining resources from all of the member states, in terms of knowledge, personnel and financing, in order to make significant steps in the development of Power-to-X technologies, thereby establishing infrastructure that increases the cost-effectiveness of future relevant research projects for the region.
- The need to establish a critical mass of highly trained personnel and research groups specialized in the field of Power-to-X technologies. This will attract more researchers to the area and be able to support the industry when they will need to hire new personnel as the technologies are implemented.
The E2C project is about to reach halfway point. The first half of the project has seen exciting technology development from improved electrodes to new electrolytes to innovative reactor concepts that will allow for accelerated implementation of Power-to-X technologies. These achievements have been a result of good cooperation between the project partners where a lot of idea and material exchange have taken place. Until now different types of catalysts, electrolytes and electrode systems were synthesized and tested both for the direct and indirect route of CO2 utilisation. Major components of the elecrolysis systems were developed. Novel processes of synthesis and in situ separation of formate, formic acid and DME have been investigated. Bench-scale demonstrations are almost ready as planned and the tendering process for the construction of the direct and indirect route pilots is going on.
The second half of the project will see these advancements scaled up, with the coming period focused on the getting the designs set for the two large pilot installations. These two major outputs will soon feed into the project main result: a Power-to-X Centre of Excellence. The concept of this center is now being formed, in parallel with a high level systems study and technology development roadmap. The unique focus of the E2C project on establishing infrastructure to be used after the project, built upon feedback from a strong network of stakeholders, will result in a lasting impact around the 2 Seas area. The latest results will continue to be reported at various events and workshops that are in the planning, the updated project website, and of course scientific publications. Update from May 2020: Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak observer partner and stakeholder event which planned to host a good number of interesting target groups and speakers from the industrial, research and policy-making community had to be canceled wich was planned to take place in March in Rotterdam. We are already discussing how to make these events possibly online and/or later this year or beginning next year and achieve a good dissemination of our results during this period. We think that the feedback from the these groups combined with the expertise of the project consortium will lead to new investments and market ideas in the E2C region, especially related to our Center of Excellence.