LAURELIN is a Horizon 2020-funded research project. Its main objective is to achieve better selectivity, yield and energy requirements in methanol production from CO2 conversion.
The green production of methanol can drastically contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector and contribute to climate change mitigation.
The problem, the need, and the opportunity
CO2 represents 60% of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions contributing to global warming. However, CO2 has an impressive potential as feedstock for renewable fuels and chemical processes.
This is why carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) is considered a highly promising technology for the reduction of the CO2 emissions, as it can capture and convert waste CO2 emissions into valuable products such as fuels, while at the same time contributing to climate change mitigation.
In parallel, there is a growing interest for the use of methanol in transportation fuels, given its many desirable attributes. Methanol is an excellent spark-ignition engine fuel, thanks to high octane contribution, easy distillation, lower boiling temperature for better fuel vaporisation and improved efficiency.
Methanol obtained from industrial captured CO2 and hydrogen may reduce carbon emissions by 65 to 95%, one of the highest potential reductions of any fuel currently being developed to replace gasoline, diesel, coal or methane.
The hydrogenation of CO2 into methanol technique nevertheless faces strong challenges and limitations, mainly related to chemical selectivity, process yield and energy requirements. By overcoming these challenges, the process will offer outstanding possibilities for the use of methanol as renewable fuel.
The main objective of the LAURELIN project is thus to face these limitations by introducing a new generation of catalyst systems, perfectly adapted to advanced reaction processes: microwave, magnetic induction and non-thermal plasma. Conventional heating will serve as a benchmark against those three catalysts.
“We need to replace fossil fuels to reach the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The cooperation between researchers, institutions and industry in the EU and Japan will foster breakthrough innovation in advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels and will strengthen the European and Japanese technology base in those areas. We are looking forward to strengthening our cooperation under Horizon Europe.”