At the end of November Twence signed a letter of intent with technology developer Coval Energy from Breda to cooperate on investigation into the development of fuels from CO2. From 2018 we want to jointly develop and build a pilot plant to produce the ‘green fuel’ formic acid. This can use CO2 captured in the Energy from Waste plant of Twence.
Coval Energy develops technology for making formic acid with CO2 and H2 (hydrogen). Formic acid has an extremely high energy density – much higher than the current battery acids – and can be used to generate electricity in the fuel cells of vehicles. The use of formic acid will therefore increase the range of electric vehicles considerably. In Eindhoven there is already a local bus built by VDL running (experimentally) on formic acid. Coval Energy and a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology contributed to this development. In the chemical industry, CO2 and formic acid have the potential as green raw materials to replace fossil raw materials. Coval Energy’s technology has been developed to the point where the step from laboratory plant to industrial scale is now possible.
Twence is working on the development of a plant to capture CO2 on a large scale from the flue gases of its Energy from Waste plant and make it available for useful application. Twence has been capturing CO2 on a small scale since 2014. We produce sodium bicarbonate from it to scrub flue gases.
The joint pilot plant for the production of formic acid should be in production as of 2020. The plant will be powered in the first instance by CO2 which is already available at Twence from the existing sodium bicarbonate plant. We will thus be able to use our captured CO2 to produce renewable energy at our own site, in the form of transport fuels.
The reduction of direct emissions of CO2 and its useful application are appropriate to our role in the region and our mission: recovering more raw materials from waste and waste wood and producing more energy from renewable sources, so that we can achieve a sustainable society. Capturing and reusing CO2 turns this ‘waste’ into a useful and sustainable raw material.