Synfuels can be synthesized from syngas, which can be obtained from CO2 and CH4. These sequence of process steps is the NET4CO2 basis for CO2 valorization.Synthetic fuels produced continuously from syngas (CO/CO2 e H2) lead to a significantly cleaner combustion than that obtained from conventional fossil fuels, minimizing the emission of NOX, SOX and particulate matter. Additionally, by reusing carbon (in the form of CO or CO2), we are making current vehicles reach carbon neutrality, which will have a significant contribution to the deceleration of climate-change related events.
The Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process is a Gas-to-Liquid, GtL, process wherein synthesis gas (or syngas) is converted into liquid hydrocarbons, i.e. synthetic fuel. The FT process was developed in 1925 by Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch, but challenges related to its energy efficiency and economic feasibility still remain. The reaction releases large amounts of energy and the FT product quality is very sensitive to catalytic performance and temperature control.
The syngas production faces identical challenges. Despite the production via reforming processes being a well-known process, which provides an interesting route for CH4 and CO2 valorization, the large energy demands for the occurrence of reaction and to keep temperature above 700 °C lead to efficiencies around 60%, making its implementation less attractive.
NET4CO2 aims to develop reactor designs for both syngas production and FT process, which are feasible at small scale and economically competitive with the existing large-scale units, which use large fixed or fluidized bed reactors. Energy efficiency and the performance of new catalysts are two important vectors in the development of these technologies.
The technological solutions found will be validated at both laboratory and pilot scale.