iNEW 2.0 – Incubator Sustainable Electrochemical Value Chains
Energy Systems Engineering
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The current production of chemicals is largely based on fossil raw materials. This leads to considerable greenhouse gas emissions and a significant contribution to climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) represents the largest share of greenhouse gases and contributes particularly to climate change due to its longevity. One way to reduce greenhouse gases is to use renewable raw materials and renewable energy sources for chemical production. In particular, the use of CO2 as a carbon source is coming into focus. By using CO2 as a raw material, the carbon cycle can be closed, thus preventing CO2 from accumulating in the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. The use of CO2 is mostly electrochemical.
The iNEW 2.0 project is part of a larger series of projects aimed at developing sustainable electrochemical value chains for chemical production from laboratory scale to scaled production plant. A particular focus is on the Rhenish coal mining region. The coal phase-out has triggered a transformation towards a climate-neutral economic region. This transformation is to be further advanced through the development and integration of sustainable electrochemical value chains. The focus of iNEW 2.0 is on the sustainable electrochemical production of basic chemicals such as hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, carbon monoxide, synthesis gas and olefins.
The LTT takes on the task of conducting a life cycle assessment of the electrochemical value chains for direct methanol and ethylene production as well as methanol production via synthesis gas. With the help of life cycle assessment, the value chains are compared with fossil and hydrogen-based benchmarks from an ecological point of view. Thus, potentials for greenhouse gas savings are revealed and impacts on other environmental categories are illuminated. Based on the results of the life cycle assessment, the aim is to provide targeted support for technical development in selecting operating and design parameters that are ecologically optimal. The development of the objective is carried out in close cooperation with the IEK-9 and the Aachener Verfahrenstechnik CVT as technical developers as well as the IEK-STE from Jülich and the Wuppertal Institute with regard to the life cycle assessment.