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 has advanced in 2020 at a different pace than planned, mainly due to the travel restrictions and lockdowns throughout the year becuase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under these conditions, the project partners have showed a high degree of flexibility and creativity in their work which kept the project advancing.
In spite of the difficult situation, the project achieved important results and progress was made in the course of the year on different aspects:
- technology: the developement of new materials, the design and construction of setups with unique functionality
- communication: stakeholder events and observer partner events were organized online and generated large interest (more than 70 participants), newsletters published
- dissemination: several peer reviewed papers have been published in 2020 containing the results of the project, dissemination of the results through the Voltachem community
- cooperation within the project: the partners are codeveloping technologies and projects and cooperations are defined beyond the project.
The project achieved important results in 2020, moving the P-to-X technologies beyond the state of the art in both the direct electrolysis of CO2 through the cooperation between University of Antewrp, TNO, VITO and Delft University of Technology as well as in the water electrolysis through the cooperation between TNO, University of Exeter and Lille University. The advancement of the SEDMES technology was a concerted efforted mainly between TNO and Lille University. A sophisicated predictive model for electrolysis was created as a result of the project by Lille University with input from the rest of the project partners and it will be validated in the coming period. The engagement of the external stakeholders through communication events was coordinated by The University of Sheffield and TNO. Delft University of Technology together with TNO have developed business case analysis for the technologies in E2C under different scenarios.