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CAC completes water electrolysis plant for international research project to reduce CO2 emissions

| By Gerald Ondrey

Skid mounted modules of the water electrolysis plant to reduce CO2 emissions (Source: CAC)

Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz GmbH (CAC; Chemnitz, Germany; has successfully completed a water electrolysis plant at the RWE site in Niederaussem, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, as part of the international, globally unique research project ALIGN-CCUS. The goal of this project is to develop a technological chain for reducing CO2 emissions and put this into operation. This will see CO2 separated directly from industrial emissions, as it can be captured in far higher concentrations there than in the air. Assigned by Asahi Kasei Europe GmbH, the licensor for the water electrolysis, CAC successfully undertook the approach of planning, procurement, assembly and commissioning. For CAC, this is the first plant with this newly-developed technology.

The plant consists of skid mounted modules with the water electrolysis as well as a hydrogen compression and hydrogen treatment unit. The electrolyzer developed by Asahi Kasei and integrated into a fully-automated plant separates water into hydrogen and oxygen. The CO2 obtained from an existing RWE facility and the hydrogen as produced are the feedstocks to produces dimethylether (DME), which can subsequently be transformed into synthetic fuels.

In the ALIGN-CCUS project 34 companies, research institutes and universities from throughout Europe are pursuing the goal of transforming six European industrial regions into economically robust centers with significantly reduced CO2 emissions by 2025.

The partners received €15 million of funding at European and national level, working in six interlinked research areas on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). ALIGN-CCUS is the only project of its kind worldwide to construct and test a fully-integrated carbon capture and utilization chain (CCU) in an actual industrial environment.