The EU process industry needs to become less dependent of fossils as source of carbon, and – at the same time – to reduce the greenhouse effect by decarbonizing the economy. Carbon4PUR will tackle the two challenges at the same time by transforming the CO2/CO containing flue gas streams of the energy-intensive industry into higher value intermediates for market-oriented consumer products. The industrially driven, multidisciplinary consortium will develop and demonstrate a novel process based on direct chemical flue gas mixture conversion, avoiding expensive physical separation, thus substantially reducing the carbon footprint, and also contributing to high monetary savings.
Both the consortium and the work are organized along the full value chain starting with the provision and conditioning of industrial emissions from a steel to a chemical company in line with the concept of industrial symbiosis, going through the transformation into chemical building blocks – lactones and cyclic carbonates – which both will be further transformed into polymer intermediates and flow into desired sustainable polyurethane applications of rigid foams and coatings. LCA and technology evaluation will be done and replication strategies to transfer the technology to other applications will be elaborated. The distinctive feature of the developed process is avoiding resource – intense separation of the gas components before the synthesis, and developing a chemo-catalytic process to deal directly with the gas mixture instead. The challenge and innovation is coming up with an adjustable process in terms of on-purpose and demand tailor-made production of required products, taking into account all variables at the same time: the available flue gases characteristic from the steel plant, material and process parameters, and the market requirements for the end product, thus flexibly involving the whole value chain with best results and possibly lower the prices.
The consortium will:
- Develop and demonstrate (TRL 4-6) an economically viable technology to transform the carbon from a steel industry Blast Furnace Gas (BFG) as well as Basic Oxygen Furnace Gas (BOFG) into “ready to use” C1 building block for the production of value intermediates (in this case polyol derivatives: lactones and cyclic carbonates). This technology will allow solutions adaptable to products, mostly for existing large-scale markets.
- Provide – first time from waste CO – chemicals and building blocks, in this specific case higher value novel polyols (ester-containing materials) for the production of new, sustainable polyurethane (short: PU/PUR) applications (rigid foam and coatings) as an example of high value polymers.
Implement a direct conversion of mixed flue gases containing both CO and CO2: Avoid expensive “traditional” purification and conditioning methods followed by direct conversion of mixed flue gases. CO/CO2 will be available with lower economic barriers; symbiotic cross-industry approaches valorising CO and also H2 present in flue gases will be enabled. Mixed flue gases are provided by many industries, e.g. steel plants, refineries, and waste incineration plants. The Carbon4PUR project sets its focus on CO rich flue gases from the steel industry.
February 11, 2021 – Press release
October 17, 2020 – Press Release, Newsletter