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Building molecules with sustainable energy

The E2CB programme has been launched to bring CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. The goal: to produce all raw materials for the chemical industry from sustainable sources. Professor of Electrochemistry Marc Koper is involved in the project.

Getting rid of carbon dioxide

By 2050, the Dutch chemical industry wants to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to today. Electrochemistry – making molecules with electricity – can kill two birds with one stone: it not only reduces CO2 emissions, but it also makes it possible to store surpluses of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and sun, in chemical bonds. At the moment, however, few electrochemical processes are known that can be used on an industrial scale.

Sustainable molecules

The E2CB programme, led by Bernard Dam of TU Delft, aims to change this. The consortium focuses on the entire chain: from material research at the nanoscale to various types of reactors at the macro-scale. The researchers want to develop new scalable electrochemical processes to produce methane, liquid hydrocarbons and ammonia in a sustainable way, and to convert biomass into useful chemical building blocks.

Collaboration

For this project, the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) will work with groups from Wageningen and Eindhoven on the conversion of biomass and CO2 using electricity. To this end, the LIC will share two PhD students with Wageningen and Eindhoven.

This article is based on the Dutch article by NWO.

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