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The first commercial power-to-liquids plant planned

By Gerald Ondrey |

Nordic Blue Crude A/S (NBC; Porsgrunn, Norway; www.nordicbluecrude.no) intends to build the first power-to-liquids (PtL) plant in the Norwegian industrial park of Heroya, located 140 km southeast of Oslo. Although the date for the startup has not yet been released, the plant will produce 8,000 ton/yr of “e-crude” from CO2, water, and 20 MW of hydroelectric power. The crude oil will then be refined into “e-waxes and e-fuels.” Engineering services for the project are being performed by EDL Anlagenbau GmbH (EDL; Leipzig, Germany; www.edl.poerner.de), a 100% subsidiary of the Pörner Group (Vienna, Austria; www.poerner.at), and Sunfire GmbH (Dresden, Germany; www.sunfire.de).

The first step of the PtL process (diagram) is the renewable generation of synthesis gas (syngas), either by a steam electrolysis and CO2 conversion by the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction, or from a direct electrochemical transformation by co-electrolysis. The syngas is then converted to liquid hydrocarbons (e-crude) via Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis. The e-crude can then be further processed into high-value fuel components (e-fuels) and chemical base materials (e-chemicals).

The plant will use Sunfire’s solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) technology for steam electrolysis. Most of the CO2 will be supplied from the industrial byproduct of a neighboring site. The carbon source will be supplemented with CO2 captured from air using the DAC (Direct Air Capture) technology of Climeworks (Hinwill/Zurich, Switzerland; www.climeworks.com; for more details about this technology, see Chem. Eng., July 2017, p. 7: www.chemengonline.com/commercial-debut-process-captures-co2-directly-air). For the RWGS stage the F-T synthesis, the use of commercially available catalysts is envisaged. A downstream fractionation unit will separate the e-waxes and e-fuels.

power-to-liquids

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