Sustainability and reducing emissions are key targets for the process industry in Europe. Finding alternative carbon feedstocks is one approach to reaching these goals and is the aim of the new half a million Euro project EU project CarbonNext, which will run for two years.
The process industries are heavily dependent on fossil inputs, both as carbon feedstocks and for energy use, resulting in import dependency and CO2 emissions. To be prepared for a future with significantly reduced fossil resources, and to achieve Europe’s emission mitigation goals, the process industry and the European Commission are looking for alternative sources of carbon to replace traditional fossil sources; resulting in a more sustainable, greener process industry.
CarbonNext has been funded under the European Commission Horizon2020 programme to investigate the opportunities for alternative carbon feedstocks. CarbonNext is coordinated by DECHEMA, the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnolgy e.V from Germany, with the Dutch consultancy Trinomics and The University of Sheffield from the UK as project partners. The project team brings together leading experts in the field of carbon capture and utilisation to assess and analyse the potential of alternative carbon, building on the project team’s achievements in the FP7 project SCOT (Smart CO2 Transformation), the BMBF funded coordination project CO2Net, the CO2Chem network and many climate and energy related projects across Europe.
CarbonNext’s objective is to evaluate the potential of new carbon sources in Europe for the process industry, primarily focusing on new sources of carbon as a feedstock and secondarily the impact on energy availability, price and emissions. The evaluation will include multiple alternative carbon sources: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other non-conventional fossil sources such as shale gas, tar sands and coal bed methane. CarbonNext will map and evaluate industrial carbon dioxide sources and investigate symbiotic value chains between industrial sectors – where can the emission of one industry become the feedstock of another? Questions will be answered such as; where is the carbon? How much is there and is it clean enough to use? Would the price be affordable and what kinds of technologies are needed to bring it in the value chain? Are the sources connected to established infrastructures? And last but not least, how will the current political framework conditions influence the result of the evaluation?
Results of the project will include the identification of value chains within processes and the industrial sectors where industrial symbiosis can be valuable (chemistry, cement, steel, etc.). CarbonNext will predict which spots and technology routes are ecologically and economically feasible. The project will inform Europe’s SMEs, large industry and policymakers with an enhanced understanding of the impact and opportunities for new sources of carbon for the processing industry, enabling effective decision making.
Dennis Krämer, Project Coordinator,