Circular Carbon Program

Towards a circular industrial chains without CO2 emissions

The mission of the Circular Carbon Program is to develop viable pathways for circular carbon use in carbon intensive industries. We address the entire value chain and focus on the technological, economic, and societal challenges lying ahead.

How do we transform carbon from single use to circular use in industrial chains without CO2 emissions, at low cost and on an industrial scale? At ISPT we are working on the transition towards industrial scale, emission free production of carbon based products and fuels from non-fossil feedstocks.

Routes to sustainability

The process industry needs to opt for 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 its 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.  

The circular processes of the future will predominantly have to be redesigned, starting from the present petrochemical technologies that have been optimized for over more than a century. This means 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 three 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.

Our projects 

Projects in the Circular Carbon Program focus on three axes:   

  • Technology development –  build a portfolio of technologies to capture, condition and convert alternative carbon sources
  • Scale-up – test and scale-up of novel reactor concepts and production pathways 
  • Value chain development – understanding the transition challenge of novel carbon-neutral industrial supply chains 

The Circular Carbon Program contributes to the ISPT theme Circularity

Join the cluster 

The Circular Carbon Program is open to more participants. Would you like to join this innovation program or need more information, please contact program manager Geoffrey Schouten using the contact form below.  

Antonie de Haas - Program Officer ISPT

This program is always open for new ideas, suggestions and partners to start new innovation or coordination and support actions. For more information contact the program director or program support.

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