BASF and bse Engineering have signed an exclusive joint development agreement for BASF to provide custom catalysts for a new chemical energy storage process. The process will enable the economically viable transformation of excess current and off-gas carbon dioxide into methanol in small-scale delocalized production units.
When generating current from renewable energy sources, excess current is generated at times when consumers demand is low. The economic viability of renewable energy sources to produce electricity is dependent on the effective usage of this excess current, but solutions to do so have largely been lacking.
The new process developed by bse Engineering enables the sustainable use of excess current and CO2 from industrial production plants with small-scale, delocalized production units built where the two components are generated, i.e. near power plants using renewable sources of energy as well as large-scale industrial plants producing CO2. The excess current will be used to produce hydrogen through discontinuous electrolysis. In a second step, this hydrogen, in conjunction with CO2 off-stream gas, will be used to produce methanol — one of the most important basic chemicals used in a variety of industrial applications. It is during this second process that BASF’s catalysts will be utilized.
“We are pleased to participate in this exciting endeavor and to contribute significantly to a concrete solution for the use of excess current and CO2 as a raw material,” said Adrian Steinmetz, VP of Chemical Catalysts at BASF. “We will leverage our know-how and expertise in catalysis in the service of advancing a sustainable answer for the transition to new energy sources and the material use of CO2.”
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“After four years of developing the global process concept, we are now ready to enter the licensing phase of this process, with construction of the first plants starting soon,” said Christian Schweitzer, Managing Director of bse Engineering. “The implementation of these projects is ensured with international branch leaders of the respective process units and part-services over a reliable consortium consisting of Aker Solutions ASA, Sulzer Chemtech AG, InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG, led by bse Engineering. We are very proud to work on the key technology catalysts with an experienced and innovative industry leader like BASF to make our vision a reality.”