How do we transform carbon from single use to circular use without CO2 emissions, at low cost and on an industrial scale? In the Circular Carbon Program we’re developing viable pathways for circular carbon use in carbon intensive industries.
The process industry needs other energy sources than carbon. As well as for alternative (non-fossil) carbon feedstock. This is easier said than done, as carbon is the starting point for virtually all production processes. Existing chemical production installations are laid out for use of fossil hydrocarbons. A radical shift to entirely novel production methods will therefore not be feasible in most cases.
These processes all have to be redesigned, starting from the present petrochemical technologies. They have been optimized for over more than a century, meaning that only a part of petrochemical production processes will have to be redesigned. But even this limited scope means a huge challenge. Renewables will have to compete with the economy of scale of existing installations. Smart solutions bring about the necessary change.
Alternatives for carbon
In the Circular Carbon Program we consider 3 alternative carbon sources as feedstock:
- Biomass (renewables)
- CO2 from the atmosphere
- Recycled carbon from waste streams
The (petro)chemical industry is based on a number of platform chemicals that are the starting point of a variety value chains. The challenge is to produce these platform chemicals in a viable, sustainable way using alternative carbon feedstock. As a result, the value chains become sustainable as well.
Together with our partners we explore innovative technologies and solutions to identify viable pathways to convert alternative carbon sources to platform chemicals. And one thing is already clear: the availability of renewable energy (and green hydrogen) is vital to transform towards circular use of carbon.
Do you have any questions, or are you interested in joining? Let’s get in touch.
Projects in the Circular Carbon Program focus on 3 axes:
- Technology development – building a portfolio of technologies to capture, condition and convert alternative carbon sources
- Scale-up – testing and scaling-up of novel reactor concepts and production pathways
- Value chain development – understanding the transition challenge of novel carbon-neutral industrial supply chains