The radical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will require actions in all sectors that are inherently different and difficult, asking for an almost total re-thinking of our day-to-day energy management. This is how LOTER.CO2M was born.
Droughts and wildfires, freshwater shortages, floods, pests and invasive species, food and water wars, and climate migration are just some of the threats we face today with climate change in Europe.
As a forerunner in environmental protection worldwide, the European Union attempts to pull the plug on global warming with its many initiatives, especially the Green Deal. With its 2030 Climate Target Plan under the Green Deal, the European Commission proposes raising the EU’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.
However, this radical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will require actions in all sectors that are inherently different and difficult, asking for an almost total re-thinking of our day-to-day energy management. This increases the hurdle to achieving efficient decarbonisation cost-effectively on time. And while it is true that a green carbon-neutral future isn’t achievable without implementing significant changes, we need to have low-threshold solutions allowing us to kickstart the transition without larger sacrifices to our everyday life quality.
With this in mind, we initiated LOTER.CO2M (This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 under the Grant Agreement number 761093) in 2018 attempting to convert CO2 with renewable electricity and water into carbon-neutral fuels and value-added chemicals in a single step without the need for hydrogen.
By doing this we replace the fossil carbon in fuels and critical chemicals with renewable, recycled carbon from CO2 and ease the transition to a carbon-neutral future without any compromises.
In three years of intensive research and development with partners from the industry (RWE, Bekaert, JohnsonMatthey EWII, and research organisations DLR, CNR, VITO, UVP and DTU) we developed critical raw material free catalysts, membranes, stack and a functioning 5kW CO2 electrolyzer and raised the technological readiness level from three to five.
Today, the electroylzer is operated at RWE in Niederaußem with waste CO2 and renewable electricity to efficiently generate carbon-neutral fuels (mainly carbon monoxide, methane, and ethylene).
Following this success story aiming to further our contribution to the EU’s climate target plan, we head out to upscale the LOTER.CO2M technology to build the world’s first direct CO2 electrolyzer at a 1MW scale and received the support of the European Union. As of October 2021, experts from 15 international organizations from industry and research are working together in the ECO2Fuel project to lift the LOTER.CO2M’s technology readiness level from 5 to 7 and push it toward commercialization for a greener and fossil fuel independent future.
The 1MW ECO2Fuel CO2 electrolyzer will convert 229 tons of CO2 to carbon-neutral fuels and chemicals considering a direct connection to renewable energy sources with an operation time of 2701 hours/year, which translates to converting 85kg of CO2 per hour.
The ECO2Fuel project will therefore consolidate the EU’s first-mover advantage in the green technology sector and strengthen its competitiveness with an innovative and disruptive technology to meet its emission targets by 2050.