Fossil-free fuels and chemicals
for a circular economy
Leading the way to a climate-neutral EU by 2050
THE CHALLENGE we are facing
Running our entire world strongly depends on fossil-based energy sources and raw materials. Their intensive use over the last decades not only depleted the Earth’s reservoirs, but also caused a significant increase of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and therewith global warming, with tremendous consequences for ecosystems, resources and society in general. In the EU, the energy and transport sector generate the major part of greenhouse gas emissions, with 54% for energy and 24% for transport-related activities in 2016. These sectors remain central for economic growth, industrial competitiveness and quality of life. At the same time, the electrification of society continues to grow, with the need for efficient storage solutions.
THE SOLUTION we aim to provide
By using energy from renewable sources (sunlight, wind) and abundant molecules (CO2, water, nitrogen), we can produce fuels and chemicals that can contribute to stopping global warming:
- Storage of renewable energy as liquid fuels
- Production of fossil-free base chemicals for industry and agriculture
- Technologies with a negative CO2 footprint
To enable a circular economy by making fuels, base chemicals for industry and agriculture, and developing negative CO2 emission technologies using resources that are abundant in Europe (renewable energies, CO2 , H2O and N2 )
Two main routes to convert renewable energy (sun, wind) to chemical form:
- Renewable power conversion to fuels & chemicals: electrochemical and thermochemical processes
- Direct conversion of solar energy to fuels & chemicals: photoelectrochemical approach, biological and bio-hybrid processes
Science: more efficient and durable materials (catalysts, light absorbers, membranes) based on abundant raw materials, more efficient engineered bio-molecules and bio-organisms for light conversion, accelerated development of materials with tools of the numerical transition (HPC, AI and machine learning)
Scale-up and demonstrators: efficient academic and industry collaboration and demonstration projects (fossil-free airport, decentralised production of fertilisers).
Started under Horizon 2020, ENERGY-X & SUNRISE have joined forces and recommend for SUNERGY a co-programmed public private partnership in Horizon Europe
• We urge to complement the scope of existing European partnerships and enable the full decoupling of economic growth from the utilization of resources at the local, regional, national and European levels for a sustainable resilient growing economy leaving no one behind
• While current PPP partnerships mainly focus on improvements on the demand side, SUNERGY proposes a pipeline of high impact technologies that boost efficiency on the supply side by making fuels, base chemicals for industry and agriculture, and developing negative CO2 emission technologies using resources abundant in Europe (renewable energies, CO2 , H2O and N2 ) to enable a circular economy.
• This could be completed by other actions within Horizon Europe and the Green Deal
Main links to the European Green Deal
The European Green Deal is the latest European plan for improving the well-being of people. Making Europe climate-neutral and protecting our natural habitat will be good for people, planet and economy, leaving no one behind. SUNERGY is well aligned with the Green Deal objectives, especially those highlinted in red and yellow in the figure.