e-CODUCT Kick-Off Meeting

e-CODUCT tackles the environmental challenge of reducing greenhouse gases caused by heating or industry. Building on successful projects and an interdisciplinary approach, e-CODUCT aims to develop a working pilot plant for an electrothermal catalytic reactor powered by renewable energy sources to produce industrially valuable carbon monoxide (CO) and sulphur (S) from carbon dioxide (CO₂) and hydrogen sulphide (H₂S). Overall, with this bridging solution that treats CO₂ and H₂S simultaneously, e-CODUCT will initiate the shift from fossil-fuel heated to electrically heated processes for the treatment of acid gases in several sectors, contributing to a better environmental performance of European industry and refinery operations and thus to the implementation of the European Green Deal commitments.
On 20-21 September 2022, the e-CODUCT consortium met for the first time in Ghent, Belgium to kick-off the collaborative work. The project has been granted EUR 7 million from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme to contribute to the development of more energy efficient electrically heated catalytic reactors.

e-CODUCT project partners at the kick-off meeting, Belgium 20-21/09/2022

Nowadays, large amounts of CO₂ are released into the atmosphere by heating and industry. While about 2 Gt/year are sequestered naturally, technical sequestration, i.e., CO₂ capture and storage in underground reservoirs, is limited. Furthermore, only small amounts of CO₂ are valorised by industry, and there is neither a complete value chain nor technologies to ensure circularity, reduce GHG emissions and valorise significant amounts of CO₂. Today, refineries and the petrochemical industry are responsible for 1.24 pty of CO₂ emissions (taxed at €62/tonne). At the same time, this sector handles more than 3.6 million tonnes of H₂S per year. The latter, in combination with CO₂, is called acid gas and is obtained not only in refining but also in exploration and production (as a component of natural gas reservoirs), biogas treatment (as a natural component of the gas mixture from a digester), etc. The existing approach to acid gas treatment relies on the “Claus process” to recover sulphur from gas streams rich in H₂S and requires the additional use of fuel gas for lean H₂S sources (< 55%), while thermocatalytic or electrocatalytic CO₂ reduction, as well as sequestration, require a high purity of CO₂, which demands proper separation from the acid gas.

Existing technologies have no solution to the challenge of CO₂ conversion, which lies in the composition of streams containing other acid gases (e.g. sulphur), and the economic and environmental inefficiency of reactors. The goal is to develop a breakthrough technology that enables the simultaneous reduction of CO₂ and H₂S for the production of marketable green end products in the form of fuels and useful chemicals (CO, S and CH₃OH).

Over the next three years the project will work towards achieving the following ambitious objectives:

  1. Development of stable and sulphur-resistant catalysts and construction of a pilot-scale reactor to demonstrate the conversion of CO₂ and H₂S into COS
  2. Development of an operational pilot plant to demonstrate ETFB reactor technology for the conversion of COS into CO
  3. Validation of the quality of the reaction products and conversion of CO into green methanol
  4. Construction of reactor and process models with integrated microkinetics for process optimisation and scale-up
  5. Demonstration of techno-economic and environmental performance of developed e-CODUCT reactors and models via extensive techno-economic evaluation and LCA modelling