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Co-electrolysis makes ‘green’ syngas in a single step

By Gerald Ondrey |

Last month, Sunfire GmbH (Dresden, Germany; www.sunfire.de) reported the successful startup and test run (more than 500 h) of a high-temperature, co-electrolysis system at its Dresden site since November 2018. The technology, called Sunfire-Synlink, is based on solid-oxide cells and enables highly efficient production (in the future, approximately 80% efficiency on an industrial scale) of synthesis gas (syngas) in a single step from water (steam), CO2 and renewable electricity (solar, wind, hydroelectric). This significantly reduces investment and operating costs for power-to-x (PTX) projects working to produce carbon-neutral liquid fuels (for more on PTX, see Chem. Eng., January 2019, pp. 14–17; www.chemengonline.com/power-x-batteries-not-required). Sunfire achieved the technological breakthrough within the framework of the Kopernikus project Power-to-X, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in conjunction with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT; Germany; www.kit.edu). The 10-kW co-electrolysis plant, which produces up to 4 Nm3/h of syngas, will be delivered to Karlsruhe in the next few weeks, where it will be combined with technologies from Climeworks AG (Direct Air Capture), Ineratec GmbH (Fischer-Tropsch…
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