Power-to-X and chemical CO2 recycling

The ready availability of renewable electrical energy means that the chemical and energy sectors will increasingly merge in the future. This is because the redox equivalents generated in power-to-x processes can be used for synthesis. Fraunhofer IGB is building the Electrolysis Test Platform ELP at the Fraunhofer location in Leuna and the Hy2Chem scale up platform for chemical synthesis with regenerative hydrogen so as to be able to depict – as in other areas – new technological developments right up to the demonstration scale.

Electrochemical conversion: Power-to-chemicals

© Fraunhofer IGB
Electrochemical cell for CO2 reduction.

For the sustainable electrosynthesis of basic chemicals with electricity from renewable energies, we develop catalysts and suitable electrodes, electrolysis processes and apparatus.

In the Fraunhofer lighthouse project "Electricity as a Raw Material", for example, Fraunhofer IGB has developed a one-stage process that can produce ethene electrochemically in just one process step.

In the EU project Celbicon, we use electrocatalysis to produce methanol from CO2, which is used as a substrate for fermentation.

An electrolysis cell, in which hydrogen peroxide can be produced from water and air using only electrical energy, is already available as a prototype at the IGB.

Fraunhofer electrolysis platform ELP and Hy2Chem scale-up platform, Leuna

With a unique research unit, the electrolysis test and trial platform ELP at the Leuna chemical site, innovative technologies for the production of "green" hydrogen and its use in sustainable synthesis processes (e.g. for the conversion of carbon dioxide in platform chemicals and fuels) are to be linked in future with an excellent infrastructure of gas pipelines and gas storage facilities.

With the Hy2Chem scaling platform, hydrogen produced on a large scale is to be used for the sustainable production of basic chemicals and fuels.

Fraunhofer CBP brings to the partnership with Fraunhofer IMWS its many years of expertise in the operation of pilot and demonstration plants and expands its infrastructure and expertise in chemical process engineering for the production of chemicals from renewable resources. As a branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, the ELP now also provides the opportunity to scale up developments of Fraunhofer IGB at the Stuttgart location and the BioCat branch in Straubing to new electrochemical processes and prepare for industrial implementation.