The energy-intensive sector will continue to depend on fossil raw materials and fuels for a long time to come. In particular, sectors such as steel, cement, refining and the petrochemical industry will continue to produce large amounts of CO2 after 2050. The capture, use and storage of CO2 (CCUS) is therefore essential to achieve a sustainable, climate-neutral energy management system. ECN part of TNO researches and develops tangible solutions.
By clustering strengths, we have a wide range of technologies for the capture and recovery of CO2 as well as a great deal of knowledge of transport and underground storage.
We are working for and with industrial parties and scientific institutions to further improve and roll out techniques that can be introduced to the market in the near future. Players from the steel, cement and refining sectors play an important role in this respect. Suppliers, from functional components to complete installations, are also closely involved. They make use of our unique knowledge position in a number of key areas and have access to special facilities for research and demonstration.
Capturing CO2 efficiently
Our research focuses on adsorption and membrane related technologies. Earlier, we developed the Sorption Enhanced Water-Gas Shift (SEWGS) process for CO2 capture in the electricity sector. Especially for the steel industry, we have developed with foreign partners the STEPWISE adsorption technology in the European research programme Horizon2020. This makes it possible to efficiently capture and then store the CO2 emitted by steel companies. It also means significant cost savings. We can already demonstrate these techniques locally on a large scale.
A special feature of our approach is that we combine reaction and separation into one process. We use techniques with low steam consumption, which means that energy efficiency is high so companies can save energy and therefore costs.
With the help of membrane technology, we can, for example, obtain energy-efficient, pure hydrogen in industrial processes.
In the coming years, we will continue to work with industrial and knowledge partners on the further development of techniques for the capture, use and storage of CO2. In these areas, we are preparing and supporting large-scale demonstration projects. In our research, we expressly consider the risks, economic feasibility and regulations. All this should result in significantly lower CO2 emissions in the coming period with effective and affordable technologies.