The H2020 project CO2EXIDE aims at the development of a technology for the conversion of bio-based carbon dioxide into industrially relevant chemicals. In line with the energy turnaround, the underlying electrochemical process is suitable for the utilisation of excess energy or off-peak power and feasible for decentralised application, as adjunct to wind parks or solar power. Operating at low temperatures and pressures, the reactions will forecast significant improvements in energy and resource efficiency combined with a significant reduction of GHG emissions. Once comprehensively implemented, the technology could cover the current global demand of ethylene oxide, thus substituting the fossil-based production of ethylene oxide and helping to reduce the consumption of fossil resources.
Based on a recycling of CO2 by primarily using renewable energy and water, the CO2EXIDE technology combines a modular nature for the feasibility of a decentralised application with high energy and material efficiency. Initially, the innovative electrochemical step pursues the simultaneous conversion of CO2 to ethylene at the cathode and water oxidation to hydrogen peroxide at the anode. A subsequent chemical conversion of both intermediates to ethylene oxide will deliver polyethylene and further derivates, which are basic materials for many industrial processes such as the manufacture of plastic products. All steps developed will be quantified using life cycle assessment.
CO2EXIDE receives a three-year funding under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research, innovation and societal challenges programme. It is assigned to the SPIRE initiative, which aims at the development of enabling technologies and best practices along all stages of existing large-scale value chain productions that will contribute to a resource efficient process industry. The CO2EXIDE approach will link the chemical and energy sector, climate protection to industrial processing. Ten organisations from six European countries work together, combining expert knowledge from the fields of electrochemistry, surface physics, apparatus engineering, energy management and communication. The CO2EXIDE project thus tackles important societal challenges by fostering sustainable supply chains for the creation of factories of the future.