CRI was the first and to date only company to have reached the milestone of producing of a synthetic liquid fuel at industrial scale from CO2 capture. This unique experience has allowed the company to qualify a pipeline of commercial scale projects in Europe and China. Simultaneously CRI seeks to advance its proprietary process and product offerings by partnering with external parties on the development of small scale projects funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program, demonstrating key features of its the ETL platform and advancing enabling technologies.
CirclEnergy; Scaling up ETL
The CirclEnergy project aims to promote a more sustainable, circular economy by facilitating the execution of CRI’s projects across Europe. In promoting large-scale commercialisation of CRI’s carbon capture and utilisation technology, CirclEnergy addresses key challenges to both integration of renewable power into the European power network and energy transition of mobility.
The inherently intermittent nature of solar and wind power regularly causes oversupply of energy when the wind blows hard and the sun shines bright. Unable to access power transmission networks, power generators are forced to reduce the production of output significantly which leads to important resources going untapped or underutilised. CRI’s Emissions-to Liquids (ETL) technology can be applied to transform surplus power in a load-following manner into a liquid fuel and chemical feedstock which can be stored for short or long periods and transported using existing infrastructure. In such applications, the liquid methanol essentially acts as a battery for the storage of renewable electricity. Applying the ETL technology for energy storage significantly increases output and value creation in renewable energy generation from fluctuating sources while simultaneously bringing to market carbon neutral methanol with diverse downstream applications.
Successful implementation of existing international treaties will inevitably lead to reduction of CO2 intensity of transport and industry with the adoption of renewable energy sources in lieu of fossil fuels. The Emission-to-Liquids platform enables integration more electricity in various modes of transport that are ‘hard to electrify’, including long range travel, heavy goods transport, marine transport and aviation. As carbon neutral fuel, renewable methanol has potential to eliminate toxic air pollution, such as nitrogen and sulphur compounds as well as particular matter.
• 1.8 Million EUR EU Horizon 2020 Grant
• ETL Commercialisation
• Renewable Power Integration
• Energy Storage & Efficiency Enhancement
• Renewable Transport Fuel Production
• Circular Supply Chain
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 848757
FReSMe; Value-added Steel Manufacturing
Carbon Recycling International (CRI) and a consortium of European industrial firms and research institutions were awarded an 11 million EUR grant under the EU’s Horizon 2020 program to implement CRI’s Emissions-to-Liquids technology in the Swerea MEFOS facility in Luleå, Sweden. The system module, which previously had been applied to a coal-fired powerplant in Germany under the MefCO2 project, will be configured to convert residual blast furnace gases into methanol, underscoring the versatility of CRI’s solution.
Steel manufacturing is associated with a number of byproducts, including carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as more energy rich hydrogen gas which is typically used for steam and electricity production. Capturing and utilizing CO2 and processing hydrogen from by-product streams eliminates the need for water-electrolysis in CRI’s ETL process. By enabling large-scale valorization of waste stream derived from steel manufacturing, FReSme contributes to the increased competitiveness of the steel industry and reduced dependence on fossil fuels
The low carbon intensity methanol produced periodically from October 2019-June 2020 will be utilized by one of the consortium partners, Swedish ferry operator Stena which operates the world’s first methanol fueled passenger ferry, the Stena Germanica. By virtue of its clean-burning combustion, methanol represents an optimal maritime fuel, with a potential to achieve CO2 neutrality and significant reduction of other greenhouse gases harmful to the enivronment. Another benefit of methanol is its long history of safe handling and can be implemented with minor modification to current ship designs and fuel infrastructure with low cost relative to other clean fuel conversions.
In exhibiting a path to a closed carbon cycle by conversion of CO2 into methanol, the FreSMe project further highlights the unique combination of scale, efficiency and economic value necessary to achieve large-scale carbon reduction targets offered by CRI’s Emissions-to-Liquids technology.
• 11 million EUR Horizon 2020 grant
• CO2 utilisation from steel manufacturing in Sweden
• Operational from 2019-2020
• ETL adaptability to heterogeneous CO2 soruces
• ETL Valorization of by-product hydrogen
• Methanol as marine fuel
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727504.
GAMER; Conquering Fossil-Based Hydrogen With High-Temperature Electrolysis
Carbon Recycling International (CRI) is part of a consortium of European industrial partners and research centerswere awarded a 3 million EUR grant under the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme to develop a new type of high-temperature electrolyzer with superior efficiency, using a novel solid electrolyte.
Inital work on the development of the innovative Tubular Proton Ceramic Electrolyzer technology was carried out by the consortium in the ELECTRA project that ended in 2017. In the second phase, entitled GAMER, promising results from ELECTRA will be exploited to design, build and operate a prototype device over a period of 2000 hours. The GAMER consortium will also build advanced computer modelling and simulation tools, enabling the consortium to explore alternative designs to take further steps towards introducing this electrolyzer technology to the market, and by doing so, create a breakthrough in the field.
Hydrogen electolyzers are used to decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen gas by passing an electric current through water. Total energy demand drops considerably when water is shifted from liquid to gas phase and development of high-temperature electrolysis has therefore received continuing attention. Higher operating temperatures, removal of water vapor from the hydrogen, instability and thermal stress remain significant challenges for the development of high-temperature electrolyzers. The Proton Ceramic Electrolyzer design aims to overcome these challenges. The Proton Ceramic Electrolyser will be thermally coupled to waste heat sources in industrial plants. The combination of the novel design and efficient heat integration will enable the system to achieve significantly higher combined electrical and heat efficiency than current alternatives. The Proton Ceramic Electrolyzer technology could enable industrial producers to reduce energy consumption in renewable hydrogen production, providing an even more competitive and environmentally sound alternative to the traditional fossil energy based hydrogen production method.
• 3 million EUR Horizon 2020 grant
• Novel electrolyser design and efficient heat integration
• Superior efficiency to make green H2 generation more viable
• Projects runs until Dec 2020
This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement (number 779486). This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe research
George Olah Renewable Methanol Plant;
First Production Of Fuel From CO2 At Industrial Scale
The George Olah Renewable Methanol plant was commissioned in 2011, following years of development which included the construction of a lab scale pilot, catalyst testing, chemical synthesis conditions studies and fund-raising. Its construction marked a significant milestone in the field of carbon capture and utilization as it was the first industrial scale production facility ever built which utilized CO2 waste gas as a resource for methanol production. Four years later, due to the modular design of the plant and inherent scalability of the technology, production capacity was scaled from 1300 to 4000 tons per year which translates into a recycling of 5,5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The production unit captures carbon dioxide from flue has released by an adjacent geothermal power plant, borrowing the carbon dioxide molecule which otherwise would have been released into the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide is purified to make it suitable for downstream methanol synthesis. Following adequate compression, syngas containing hydrogen generated by electrolysis of water and carbon dioxide are catalytically reacted to convert it into methanol. Water content is removed by distillation in the last process module. The reaction is highly exothermic which allows for heat to be recovered from the reactor to supply steam to the distillation unit.
The production process creates no toxic by-products as the sole chemical released is oxygen following the electrolysis process. An independent audit performed by SHS Germany using a protocol established by ISCC certifies that the plant production releases 90% less carbon dioxide than the use of a comparable amount of energy from fossil fuels.
The George Olah Renewable methanol plant demonstrates in an actual industrial setting the technical, economic and environmental benefits associated with adapting CRI’s Emissions-to-Liquids technology. Through the operation of the plant, Carbon Recycling International has gained unique experience and know how inaccessible to any other technology provider. This experience has allowed the company to create a standard modular plant designs with a larger production capacity, up-scaling solution and optimize the production process to be applicable to the needs of diverse industries.
• Located in Svartsengi, Iceland
• World’s first industrial scale production of fuel from CO2
• World’s first power-to-liquids output to receive a recognized certification for
• World’s first power-to-liquids facility to implement large-scale electrolysis
• Utilisation of CO2 geothermal powerplant
• 90% reduction of CO2 compared to gasoline or diesel
• Operational since 2012
• No toxic by-products
• Small land-footprint, requires no arable land or agricultural resources
MefCO2; CO2-to-Methanol Production in Germany
Funded under the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Program, MefCO2 was a technology development project in operation from 2014-2019. MefCO2 applied CRI’s Emissions-to-Liquids (ETL) technology to produce methanol from CO2 emissions derived from a thermal power plant and hydrogen generated by electrolysis. The project’s key objective was to utilise ordinarily emitted greenhouse gas CO2 and hydrogen produced from redundant electrical energy into a widely-usable plaftorm chemical, methanol. In verifying the adaptability of the scalable modular technology, MefCO2 aimed to demonstrate mitigation of exhaust CO2 and further penetration of renewables by addressing curtailment of renewable electricity.
Following delivery to the RWE Niederaussem thermal powerplant and integration with subsystems the intermediate-scale CO2-to-methanol production unit started production in early May 2019. During its time in operation, the system performed flawlessly, successfully demonstrating the capability of the ETL system to operate with fluctuating supply of electricity from wind and solar sources and heterogeneous CO2 sources.
The production output of 1 ton per day was delivered to a waste water treatment facility upon the project’s completion.
• 11 million EUR Horizon 2020 grant
• CO2 Utilisation in German thermal powerplant
• Operated in 2019
• ETL Adaptability to heterogenous CO2 sources
• ETL Load-following capability for efficiency enhancement in renewable power generation
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 637016.