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Welcoming two new team members

Without people with passion, expert knowledge and the right view, ECO2Fuel wouldn’t be possible. Today we want to welcome our newest team members from De Nora in Italy: Luca Riillo and Anna Ramunni


Luca Riillo is a Junior Researcher at De Nora since March 2022. Luca holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Industrial Chemistry gained with full marks at the University of Roma La Sapienza. His Master thesis was about the synthesis of zinc-based nanostructured catalyst for the electroreduction of CO2.

Luca is working on European Funded projects for the electroreduction of CO2 in which De Nora is providing Know-how about GDE manufacturing and optimization:

  • Selective Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to High Value Chemicals (SELECTCO2)
  • Large-Scale Low-Temperature Electrochemical CO2 Conversion To Sustainable Liquid Fuels (ECO2Fuel)


Anna Ramunni is the New Applications Research Team Leader in De Nora. She joined the Company in 2016.

Anna holds a master’s degree in Materials Science from the University of Milano-Bicocca.

Before working on CO2 European Funded projects, she focused on water treatment by electrochlorination.

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Welcoming a new consortium member

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Harilal to the ECO2Fuel project as a postdoc in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage at the DTU.

Harilal, who is originally from Telangana, India, obtained his PhD in the development of novel polybenzimidazoles for proton exchange membrane fuel cells from the University of Hyderabad (UoH) in Telangana.

With his skills in organic and polymer chemistry, membrane electrode assembly preparation as well as various analytical techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Infrared (IR) spectroscopy, Atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), he will be supporting the team of Qingfeng Li and David Aili in optimising the membrane properties of anion-exchange membranes for the ECO2Fuel project.

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Finding alternatives to fossil fuels with eCCU

Grey fossil feedstock for the chemical industry and fossil fuels for long-distance transport must be substituted by green and sustainable alternatives that utilise CO2, a waste material as feedstock.

Here electrochemical carbon capture and utilisation (eCCU) has proven to be a highly efficient and facile technique to convert CO2 without the need for critical raw materials and expensive green hydrogen directly at ambient conditions into carbonaceous chemicals and fuels in direct connection with renewable electricity.

Twenty-two partners from nine countries representing industry, research institutes, and universities present their work on the electrochemical CO2 utilisation in the three European-funded projects LOTER.CO2M, ECO2Fuel and OCEAN by demonstrating the complete technology value chain at RWE’s Innovation Center at Niederaussem.

Curious about what the three projects achieved so far and how eCCU works? – Watch now on YouTube:

Moderator: Dr. Seyed Schwan Hosseiny (DLR)


– Dr. Lars Kulik, CTO RWE Power 

– Dr. Søren Bøwadt, Second Deputy Head of Unit at European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), 

– Dr. Lucia Fernandez Macia/Yolanda Alvarez Gallego


– Dr Peter Moser (RWE), Introduction site of demonstration

– Dr. Simon Geiger (DLR)

– Dr. Antonino Aricò (ITAE)

– Prof. Gabriele Centi (ERIC)

– Arnaud Mol (Avantium)

– Joost Helsen (VITO)

– Pieterjan Debergh (VITO)

– Dr. Schwan Hosseiny (DLR)

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Sabrina Zignani presented ECO2Fuel at the Institute of Chemistry – University of Sao Paulo in Brazil

Sabrina Zignani, Researcher in Electrochemical Process at CNR ITAE, presented ECO2Fuel at the Institute of Chemistry – University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The current research at the University is focused on three major areas: Alternative Energy, Fundamental Electrochemistry and Fuel Cell Devices.

The topic of Sabrina’s seminar was the CNR-ITAE synthesis and electrochemical testing of CRM-free catalysts. She and the CNR team are developing and deploying highly innovative and recyclable catalytic material systems to facilitate the production of synthetic fuels from CO2 emissions aiming at a 50% increase in the overall efficiency compared to the State-of-the-Art technologies.

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Developing highly active, selective, and critical raw material free electrocatalysts that can convert CO2 into green chemicals

Converting CO2 in a single step, without the need for critical raw materials and green hydrogen, at low cost, and with high selectivity to added-value chemicals has always been a big challenge. In ECO2Fuel, we will be tackling this to deliver the worldwide first 1MW CO2 electrolyzer.

For building a low-cost, critical raw material free, and hydrogen independent CO2 conversion technology, the ECO2Fuel project depends on the efforts of multiple partners at various levels of the system.

For instance, to design and produce highly efficient and selective electrocatalysts, partners must conduct various theoretical and experimental chemistry to materials engineering tasks to understand the catalyst in depth.

At CNR-ITAE, Dr Zignani and the CNR-ITAE team work hard to gain that knowledge. At CNR-ITAE, many strategies are evaluated to develop highly active, selective, and critical raw material free electrocatalysts that can convert CO2 into green chemicals. The CNR-ITAE has a long and proven experience of around 30 years in several categories of electrochemical and energy conversion devices, including electrolyzers, fuel cells, batteries, heterogeneous catalysis and renewable energy sources.

As a consortium partner in the Eco2fuel project, CNR-ITAE will help develop and deploy highly innovative and recyclable catalytic materials to facilitate the production of carbon-neutral fuels from CO2 rich industrial flue gas emissions at a 50 % increase in the overall efficiency compared to the State-of-the-Art.

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Why Dissemination & Exploitation is important for catalysing the development of new technologies

META Group is adopting a demand-led (problem-driven) approach to address the needs and problems of the potential adopters of ECO2fuel’s results. Those will be selected and validated, together with the partnership and early adopters, considering their unique value proposition and identifying steps needed to secure further funding and to go to market after the project ends.

The process will involve tools tested in several previous assignments in Europe, as well as during the delivery of services to SMEs and startups. We will use the “build-measure-learn” from the Lean Startup approach to involve stakeholders, plan use, finalise business plans, mobilising outcomes and enabling impact.

“In the next few months, we will start planning exploitation workshops together with the partners to enter the most exciting part of our tasks.”, says Antonello Fiorucci, EU Project Designer at META.

Antonello Fiorucci, EU Project Designer at META Group, say: „META Group is committed to employing its unique experience, paving the way to market for ECO2fuel’s results as one of the main tasks of the project. Our approach assumes that the use of a result is at the base for generating an impact.“

We will also provide support to manage IP and ownership-related issues which will be addressed once the use model of each result will be clear and shared by the partnership.   

The Italy-based company is the main contractor of the European Commission in promoting and supporting the use of research results from projects funded by programs such as FP7, H2020 and HE and cohesion funds (ESIF), with over 1.500 consortia supported and over 500 companies accompanied to private investors.

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Gas diffusion electrode is where CO2 turns again into useful fuels

Fighting climate change – But how?

The ECO2fuel project represents a unique opportunity to bring the CO₂  electrochemical reduction technology to an industrial relevant level, representing a powerful route to achieve an important milestone towards a greener future.

Gas diffusion electrode is where CO₂ turns again into useful fuels, a core component for the ECO2Fuel technology.

“De Nora is committed to developing and providing efficient gas diffusion electrodes for this project, building its knowledge on almost one hundred years of experience on electrodes and electrochemistry.“, says Dr. Daniela Galliani, Lead Researcher at Industrie De Nora.

The Italian multinational company and global provider of innovative technologies and solutions, is recognized as a partner of choice for important industrial electrochemical processes.

Their technologies are recognized as a high-value enabler that facilitates transformation processes for many industrial applications: Such as chemistry, water purification, electronics, energy storage, infrastructural corrosion protection, and many others.

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ECO2Fuel technology can use any source of CO2

One of our 22 international partners of tomorrow’s workshop eCCU3 and consortium member of the ECO2Fuel project is ARIEMA Energía y Medioambiente S.L. with more than 30 years of experience in hydrogen-based technologies.

Enrique Girón, Head of R&D at ARIEMA, is certain, that the ECO2Fuel technology can use any source of CO₂ produced by any industry facing unavoidable CO₂ emissions. Additionally, the latter use of e-fuels produced by the ECO2Fuel technology can lead to reducing the CO₂ emissions helping the EU to reach its emission targets.

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Not just talking about climate protection

But developing the necessary technologies to the point where they are ready for use. RWE’s Innovation Center at Niederaussem is the scene of important technological advances.

Here we will be demonstrating the complete technology chains of the three Horizon2020 projects LOTER.CO2M, ECO2Fuel and Ocean Project next Wednesday from 10AM to 5PM during the free online workshop eCCU3.

„Electrochemical synthesis technologies are very promising to produce sustainable fuels and chemicals directly from water, green electricity, and recycled CO₂ as they avoid the effort of high synthesis temperatures and pressures. In this free workshop we will share some insights of how far we’ve come in turning CO₂ into valuable chemicals.“, says Dr. Peter Moser, Head of Emission Reduction Technologies at RWE.

The Carbon Capture and Electrochemical Utilization Workshop brings together international experiences: 22 partners from industry, research institutes and universities are advancing the electrochemical CO2 utilization from research to industrial application.

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Many carbon-neutral efuels are uneconomic compared to fossil-based fuels

Why is that? Because they rely on expensive green hydrogen. Therefore, carbon-neutral fuels have low acceptability, unnecessarily prolonging the energy transition process. 

ARIEMA’s experts have thirty years of experience in hydrogen-based technologies, specifically in production, storage, conditioning, and end uses of green hydrogen.

In ECO2Fuel, Ariema is responsible for determining the materials and the design of the frame and #gasket structure of the 50 kW stack. ARIEMA will also analyse the technical, economic, environmental, and social impacts potentially derived from the project and assess the regulatory aspects of publicacceptance initiatives.

“Transport accounts for around a fifth of global CO₂ emissions, and transport demand is expected to grow worldwide in the coming decades. The ECO2Fuel project aims to face this challenge by scaling a single-step CO₂ conversion process to produce liquid e-fuels without the need for hydrogen”, says Pablo Lara Casanova, Project Engineer at ARIEMA Energía y Medioambiente S.L.