Electrochemically converting CO2 into chemicals has become a promising option to reduce CO2 emissions and respond to the request for more circular production approaches. Various chemicals can be electrochemically produced through the reduction of CO2, and in this research the initial focus will be on the production of CO. CO is an important intermediate in the steel- and chemical industry.
Copper hollow fibre membranes are promising for CO production by aqueous-phase electrochemical reduction of CO2. Currently, this reaction is studied within the ISPT project called E-Triple-C (Electrons to Close the Carbon Cycle). As part of the E-Triple-C project, a techno-economic evaluation will be conducted. This evaluation includes calculation of the operating expenditures (OPEX) and capital expenditures (CAPEX). Here, the main challenge is to structure the method to calculate the CAPEX for both electrochemical processes, in comparison to traditional catalytic processes. Furthermore, the main cost contributors will be identified through a sensitivity analysis, including various future scenarios.
For this the techno-economic evaluation, TNO will provide a framework of the model for the economic evaluation, and will also be a strong partner providing guidance. The model incorporates many parameters like energy prices and government incentives, but must be adapted for each new process.
Although the focus of this research is on the techno-economic evaluation of the reduction of CO2 to CO, the results of this evaluation will be compared to other (electrochemical) processes. If time allows, the same model is applied to the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia (which is another important part of the E-Triple-C project).