“We will be able to demonstrate that it is possible to use captured CO2 to produce commercially valuable chemicals in an economically feasible way” – Interview with University of Twente.
What is the role of EMI in CATCO2NVERS?
EMI has multiple roles in CATCO2NVERS since we are involved in work packages 1 to 5. We have a technical role in all the mentioned work packages, plus an administrative role for the first work package (WP1), in which we are leaders.
Our technical role is mainly as separation experts. For WP1, EMI is in charge of developing at least two purification and conditioning methods for the CO2 streams produced by the partners Avantium and Perseo. This will be done via simulations. For WP2, WP3, and WP4, EMI will develop and experimentally test the separation processes for the added-value chemicals. And for WP5, we will scale up the separation of the chemicals.
How is EMI conducting CO2 analysis and up-grading?
Well, the first step was to collect the data from Avantium and Perseo regarding the composition of the CO2 streams. We started working with the data from Avantium because it was first available. It has a composition of typical flue gas, so the next step was to perform a literature review of the state of technologies suitable to capture CO2 from this kind of stream. Based on our literature review, we pre-selected some technologies that seem to be more advanced in terms of TRL, one based in absorption and one based on membranes, and started simulations in the software Aspen Plus. Recently, we also consulted with our partner Hysytech to check if they agree with our pre-selection, as well as for their recommendations regarding the design of the processes.
In the meantime, we also approached the partners Avantium, WUR, CSIC, FUNDITEC, and CARTIF to know which requirements they would have for the CO2 stream. We need to know what purity they would need in the CO2 stream, as well as if their catalyzers are sensitive to a specific pollutant in the stream. Once we obtain this information, we will use it to fine-tune the two processes that we are modelling for the Avantium case. Then, we will be able to compare them and give our conclusions regarding which process seems more suitable.
What are the expectations of this project?
I expect that we will be able to demonstrate that it is possible to use captured CO2 to produce commercially valuable chemicals in an economically feasible way. I also anticipate that the project will allow the partners to get to know each other and strengthen our professional and personal relationships. I am also aiming to gain knowledge and expertise in carbon capture technology and purification technologies.