PlasCO2 project transforming greenhouse gas into raw material starts

Sustainable energy

Germany – Together with three other partners, Evonik has started the PlasCO2 project. The objective is to produce C4 compounds using carbon dioxide (CO2) as a raw source.

The initiative is receiving more than €1.8 million in financing from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. “Plasma-induced creation of carbon monoxide from carbon dioxide and its chemical use” is the meaning of the acronym PlasCO2. The researchers are employing a newly created method to extract synthesis gas from carbon dioxide and hydrogen using a plasma reactor. This method can be used to produce synthesis gas, which can subsequently be utilized to make chemical products.

Four companies make up the project consortium, which is overseen by Evonik. Thus, it combines all specialties, including plant engineering, plasma research, and catalysis. Along with Evonik, other participants include Rafflenbeul Anlagen Bau GmbH, the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Research (INP), and the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT).

Sustainability

Sustainability is a major force behind the business: The project’s core process is the hydrogen-carbon dioxide conversion into carbon monoxide. As an unique energy source, low-temperature plasmas will be used since they use minimal energy and are therefore very effective at activating inert carbon. The research team is working to create a new type of reactor that can run on renewable energy sources in order to produce these plasmas. These should eventually be broadly applicable and marketable. In C4 chemistry, the synthesis gas produced in this manner can be used to produce organic molecules. These can then be utilized to create products like plasticizers or specialty petrochemicals.

Evonik will start with fundamental research, initially performing assessments of economic viability, eco-efficiency, and quantum chemical computations. Exhaust gas purification has so far been accomplished using plasma reactors. Evonik is still developing their technology in order to construct a prototype plant that produces plasma using renewable resources in around four years.

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Wim Raaijen
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