CO2 for a clean performance: Rheticus research project by Evonik and Siemens enters phase 2
High-value specialty chemicals produced from CO2 and water using electricity from renewable sources and bacteria
“The innovative technology used for Rheticus has the potential to contribute to the success of Germany's energy transition,” says Thomas Haas, who is responsible for the Rheticus project at Evonik. “In the future, this platform could be installed anywhere CO2 is available—for example, at power plants or biogas plants. We use available CO2 as the raw material for the production of high-value chemicals using artificial photosynthesis.” Siemens is contributing the world's first CO2 electrolyzer to the Rheticus project. “We are developing a flexible system that can provide answers to various questions raised by the energy transition,” says Karl-Josef Kuhn, who is in charge of Power2X research at Siemens. “We are making it possible to store renewable energy by converting it into useful substances such as specialty chemicals or fuel. We are also contributing to the stability of the grid because production is so flexible that we can respond to fluctuations in power supply.”
The test facility is scheduled to start operating in early 2020. It comprises electrolyzers and a bioreactor. In a first step, carbon dioxide and water are converted into carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen in electrolyzers with the aid of electricity. Special microorganisms then convert the CO in the gases synthesized in this way into chemicals. Siemens and Evonik are each contributing their core competencies—electrolysis and biotechnology—to this artificial photosynthesis process. Artificial photosynthesis means combining chemical and biological steps so that energy can be used to produce viable chemicals from CO2 and water. Plants use natural photosynthesis in a similar way: chlorophyll, enzymes and sunlight are used to synthesize glucose—a vital, energy-rich nutrient. An other advantage of Rheticus is, that the technology platform also contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, as it uses CO2 as a raw material. Three tons of carbon dioxide would be needed to produce one tonne of butanol, for example.
The synthesis module came on stream at Evonik in spring 2019. At its heart is an 8-meter high stainless steel bioreactor with capacity of 2,000 liters. Microorganisms work continuously in the reactor. Their main nutrients are hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Siemens has developed a fully automated CO2 electrolyzer which was integrated into a container in summer 2019. The world's first CO2 electrolyzer comprises 10 cells and the total surface area of the electrodes is 3,000 cm2.
The electrolyzer and the bioreactor will be combined in the coming months. In addition, a unit to process the liquid from the bioreactor is being built to obtain pure chemicals.
In the test facility, bacteria will produce butanol and hexanol for research purposes. These substances are used as starting products, for example, for specialty plastics and food supplements. However other specialty chemicals are conceivable, depending on the bacterial strain and conditions.
Following successful completion of Rheticus II, Evonik and Siemens will have a unique technology platform allowing production of useful, energy-rich substances such as specialty chemicals and artificial fuels from CO2 in a flexible, modular process.
Other news from the department business & finance
AkzoNobel Powder Coatings partners with Swiss start-up coatingAI to explore new frontiers in sustainability
Lignovations Closes Seed Investment to Accelerate Lignin-Based Biomaterial Innovation
A multifunctional alternative to many synthetic chemicals in cosmetics, coatings, packaging, adhesives, and other applications
Net-zero chemicals industry initiative relaunches as the Global Impact Coalition
The CEO-led chemical industry initiative, incubated by the World Economic Forum, has been relaunched
Eppendorf and Neste forge strategic partnership to develop new line of renewable lab plastics
A sustainable choice for labs
Vulcan officially opened its Lithium Extraction Optimisation Plant
Europe’s first plant for fully domestic lithium chemicals production, to secure Europe’s lithium supply chain for Battery Electric Vehicle manufacturers
Spacetek Technology announces the successful closing of its Seed Financing Round
Time-of-flight mass spectrometers (TOF-MS) inspired by space technology
Start-up Better Basics Laborbedarf Wins First Place at the "Wiley Analytical Science Award 2024"
SmartRack® wins in the Separation, Laboratory Automation & Equipment Category
Hy2gen and Amogy Forge Strategic Partnership to Propel Ammonia-Powered Energy Solutions
Accelerate decarbonisation in the maritime sector
analytica 2024: Food analysis for sustainable nutrition
From PFAS to microplastics: focus on new harmful substances
BASF and SK On entered into an agreement to evaluate collaboration opportunities in the global lithium-ion battery market
Targeted collaboration around cathode active materials
Merck Confirms Forecast for Fiscal 2023 Despite Difficult Market Environment in Q3
Return to organic sales growth expected in 2024
Bayer: Third quarter below prior year as expected
Group outlook confirmed - By the end of next year, Bayer will remove multiple layers of management and coordination
Start-ups become changemakers – apply now!
ISC3 is looking for innovative solutions in the field of Sustainable Chemistry for textiles - Innovation Challenge 2024 endowed with 25,000 euros
HunterLab Spreads Its Vibrant Colors to Europe: Introducing 'HunterLab Europe'
Steering HunterLab Europe is none other than the Christian Jansen, who literally grew up in the color spectrophotometry world
Technology Group STRABAG invests € 100 million into battery and energy storage company CMBlu Energy
The ideal combination of technological and construction industry expertise to advance energy transition
Huber Kältemaschinenbau receives highest award at the "Großer Preis des Mittelstandes" (Grand Prix of Medium-Sized Businesses)
MAN Energy Solutions and Energy Dome Collaborate on CO2 Battery Technology
New strategic partnership to provide long-duration energy storage solution to facilitate the transition to net-zero
Most read news
Plastic-eating bacteria turn waste into useful starting materials for other products
Microbial Upcycling of Waste PET
Microbes could help reduce the need for chemical fertilizers
A coating protects nitrogen-fixing bacteria: Start-up to commercialise coated bacteria for large-scale use in regenerative agriculture
New designs for solid-state electrolytes may soon revolutionize the battery industry
Scientists achieve monumental improvements in lithium-metal-chloride solid-state electrolytes
Inauguration of the world’s first pilot plant for the cost-efficient production of green methanol
Start-up C1 Green Chemicals AG and research partners develop fundamentally new production process
Dow and Evonik announce startup of hydrogen peroxide to propylene glycol (HPPG) pilot plant
Innovative technology offer flexibility, lower costs, and a smaller environmental footprint
This is a battery
Two colored liquids bubbling through tubes: Is this what the battery of the future looks like?
Converting PFAS “forever chemicals” into valuable compounds
Scientists develop a new method to incorporate harmful perfluoroalkenes into N-heterocyclic carbene ligands
Not so silver lining: Microplastics found in clouds could affect the weather
Low-altitude and denser clouds contained greater amounts of microplastics
Graphene's proton permeability: A switch for future energy technologies
This discovery could lead to the development of more efficient hydrogen fuel cells and solar water-splitting devices
Lithium-ion batteries are no longer the gold standard in battery tech
On the way to safer and more powerful energy sources
CO2-free hydrogen: BASF receives funding approval for 54-megawatt water electrolysis plant
Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer expected to produce up to 8,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year
More news from our other portals
Bowel cancer: aspirin activates protective genes
Researchers have identified a signaling pathway by which aspirin can inhibit colorectal cancer.
Dunning-Kruger effect with muesli bars
Those who know the least consider themselves highly competent
Autonomous measuring instruments systematically detect new materials
A new algorithm measures materials libraries up to four times faster than before: It’s based on machine learning
New drug delivery system could reduce daily diabetes shots to just three a year
Dietary management drugs have transformed Type 2 diabetes care, but daily injection routines are challenging for some patients
Naked Clams: The New Superfood Sensation Emerging from the Depths
Researchers found Naked Clams contain almost twice the amount of Vitamin B12 as blue mussels and have developed an efficient way to farm them
Researchers discover new ultra strong material for microchip sensors
A material that doesn't just rival the strength of diamonds and graphene, but boasts a yield strength 10 times greater than Kevlar
Aston University technology to combat the not-so sweet practice of honey fraud
Light technology to be used to detect if honey is blended with cheap additions
How stem cells and immune cells communicate
Lisec Artz Award for Simon Haas: Groundbreaking discovery of an unknown protective mechanism against blood cancer from stem cells
Pushers, overcrowded trains and phone zombies
Sprite presents the world's first vending machine that responds to the things that bother Generation Z the most
Scientists use quantum biology, AI to sharpen genome editing tool
"This study represents an exciting advancement toward, understanding how we can avoid making costly ‘typos’ in an organism’s genetic code"
Tönnies Group launches first nationwide "Meat Climate Platform"
100 guests at the Future Forum for Agriculture
Viral Impostors: Breakthrough for Virus Research
The penetration of viruses into cells can now be tracked with unprecedented accuracy thanks to innovative design for pseudoviruses
From the trough to the plate - digitally calculated
Computer program "ConTrans" estimates how much of an undesirable substance is transferred from animal feed to food
Fatty acid factory filmed at work
High-resolution images provide new insights into cellular fatty acid production: Potential for medicine and biotechnology
Tracking down Environmental Toxins
Detection of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by interrupted energy transfer
Textbook knowledge turned on its head: 3-in-1 microorganism discovered
Newly multifunctional bacterial species
Are healthy foods automatically sustainable, too?
Perceptions about sustainability and healthy food choices are closely linked
The weight of pollution: exposure linked to obesity
Chronic exposure to environmental pollutants found to increase risk of cardiovascular disease
Could eating turkey ease colitis?
According to data in mice, extra tryptophan could reduce the risk of future colitis flares