HyChem plays an essential role in the innovative CAPTUS project, developed by a consortium integrating 18 partners from eight countries of the European Union. The project aims to demonstrate, within a 48-month timeframe, the feasibility, effectiveness, and sustainability of integrated solutions that transform CO2 emissions from energy consuming sectors into value-added resources.
Ambitious climate policies confront energy intensive industries, such as HyChem, potentially leading to job losses and reduced competitiveness. Additionally, the generation of energy from renewable sources faces the risk of electricity scarcity if the excess production of renewable energy during certain periods of the day is wasted due to lack of utilization.
Carbon capture and utilization technologies, which harness industrial emissions and surplus renewable energy, will play a significant role in the industry’s energy transition. However, these technologies are still costly and inefficient.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to transform the CO2 released by energy intensive industries into exploitable and value-added resources in a sustainable and efficient manner.
The CAPTUS project (Demonstrating energy-intensive industry-integrated solutions to produce liquid renewable energy carriers from CAPTured carbon emissionS), co-financed by the Horizon Europe program with EUR 11.5 million, aims to find answers.
It is indeed an innovative action designed to demonstrate sustainable, profitable, and scalable pathways for producing value-added renewable energy vectors. This way, it will valorize industrial carbon emissions and harness surplus renewable electricity.
With this purpose, three complete value chains will be demonstrated (using industrial flue gases) at three different locations, one of which is the industrial park of HyChem in Póvoa de Santa Iria:
· Demonstrator 1, at a steel plant: a bioprocess based on fermentation to produce acetic acid and triglycerides;
· Demonstrator 2, at a chemical unit, HyChem: cultivation of lipid-rich microalgae (by A4F Algafuel), followed by hydrothermal liquefaction, to produce bio-oils;
· Demonstrator 3, at a cement plant: electrochemical reduction of CO2 to produce formic acid.
At HyChem, the aim is to demonstrate the technical feasibility, at a high level of technological maturity, of using CO2 from boiler combustion gases in the production of microalgae, using technology developed by the partner NOVIS for CO2 capture and conditioning.
HyChem plays a crucial role in the analysis of energy processes in large industries, as it is responsible for preparing all input streams, including a CO2-rich stream from the steam boiler, and output from the facility.
The European project CAPTUS promises substantial environmental benefits, aiming to a carbon-neutral industry by 2030. With the potential to avoid the annual release of over 15 thousand tons of CO2 and produce more than 400 tons of renewable energy vectors per year, CAPTUS stands out as a beacon of innovation for reducing the industrial carbon footprint.