Skip Navigation

Chemical, 2013-07-02, 02:11 PM

Research cooperation develops innovative technology for environmentally sustainable syngas production from carbon dioxide and hydrogen

• New process technology for industrial-scale reaction of carbon dioxide with hydrogen reduces CO2 emissions

• Federal Ministry of Education and Research grants a total of €9.2 million to support intersectoral cooperation between industry and academia for three years

BASF, the Linde Group and thyssenkrupp plan to develop an environmentally friendly and competitive basis for utilizing the climate gas carbon dioxide (CO2) on an industrial scale. They aim to employ innovative process technology to use carbon dioxide as a raw material, with positive effects on climate protection.

Together with BASF’s subsidiary hte AG and scientific partners VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut, Düsseldorf, and TU Dortmund University, the companies are developing a two-stage process. In the first step, an innovative high-temperature technology will process natural gas to obtain hydrogen and carbon. Compared to other processes, this technology produces very little CO2. The hydrogen is then reacted with large volumes of CO2, also from other industrial processes, to give syngas. A mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, syngas is a key raw material for the chemical industry and is also suitable for producing fuels. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is subsidizing the project within its “Technologies for Sustainability and Climate Protection – Chemical Processes and Use of CO2” scheme. The project started on July 1, 2013, and is expected to last three years.

“Our competences regarding the construction and operation of hydrogen plants, synthesis gas plants and coke oven plants complement each other exceptionally well in handling this complex task,“ said the responsible heads of development Dr Jens Wagner (thyssenkrupp Uhde) and Dr Harald Ranke (Linde) in unison.

Unlocking the raw material potential of carbon dioxide

The project’s approach has several advantages:

• Natural gas is a plentiful resource with a more favorable content of hydrogen and carbon than biomass, for example.

• Natural gas decomposition is achieved thermally only, without any addition of oxygen or water.

• This enables the production of hydrogen and solid carbon; the latter may potentially be used to replace hard coal in the coke and steel industries.

• In an additional innovative catalytic process step, carbon dioxide is combined with the hydrogen obtained from natural gas decomposition to produce syngas.

• With the process operating at very high temperatures, the innovative reactor design ensures that the correspondingly large amounts of waste heat are recycled immediately into the process.

• The technology is suitable for industrial production.

Multidisciplinary cooperation as a success factor

BASF coordinates the joint project and, in cooperation with hte, carries out the experimental research activities on gas decomposition and the catalyst development for the production of syngas. Based on this the partners intend to develop a pilot plant design and a concept for integrating the innovative technology into existing chemical and steel-producing sites.

The engineering responsibility lies with Linde and thyssenkrupp Uhde. thyssenkrupp Steel Europe and its subsidiary Kokereibetriebsgesellschaft Schwelgern (KBS) will perform the carbon conditioning and testing for steel industry use.

thyssenkrupp Uhde has a workforce of more than 5,900 employees worldwide and is a company in the Industrial Solutions business area of the thyssenkrupp Group. The company's activities focus on the engineering and construction of chemical and other industrial plants in the following fields: fertilisers; electrolysis; gas technologies; oil, coal and residue gasification; refining technologies; organic intermediates, polymers and synthetic fibres; as well as coke plant and high-pressure technologies. We also provide our customers with professional services and comprehensive solutions in all areas of industrial plant operation. Details are available at www.thyssenkrupp-uhde.de

Back to top