Evonik and Siemens Energy have today commissioned a pilot plant in Marl, Germany, which uses carbon dioxide and water to produce chemicals.

Sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the plant is an essential part of the Rheticus I and II research projects.

Read more: Evonik and Siemens launch Joint research project ‘Rheticus’

German Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek, said, “I am delighted that we have today given the go-ahead for a new test facility of the very highest standard in Marl.”

“With Rheticus, we are showing how we can set up climate-friendly production processes in the chemical industry and at the same time manufacture new innovative products. And this works not only here in Germany, but potentially all over the world.”

The plant, which is Evonik’s largest site, consists of a carbon electrolyser, developed by Siemens Energy, a water electrolyser and the bioreactor with Evonik’s know-how.

In the electrolysers, carbon dioxide and water are converted into carbon monoxide and hydrogen with electricity in a first step. The synthesis gas is used by special microorganisms to produce speciality chemicals, initially for research purposes.

Harald Schwager, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik, said, “Climate protection is not possible without chemistry, because our industry supplier and develops solutions for the energy turnaround.”

Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy, added, “Our goal is to use innovative technologies to enable new, more sustainable solutions. With our hydrogen and carbon monoxide electrolysis, we are building a bridge from green electricity to sustainable material applications.”