Evonik and Siemens’ research project ‘Rheticus’ has entered its second phase which will run until 2021 and receive approximately €3.5m from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Project Rheticus aims to develop an efficient and powerful test plant that will use carbon dioxide (CO2) and water as well as electricity from renewable sources and bacteria to produce speciality chemicals.
“The innovative technology used for Rheticus has the potential to contribute to the success of Germany’s energy transition,” said Thomas Haas, who is responsible for the Rheticus project at Evonik.
“In the future, this platform could be installed anywhere CO2 is available – for example, at power plants or biogas plants. We use available CO2 as the raw material for the production of high-value chemicals using artificial photosynthesis.”
Siemens and Evonik are both contributing technologies for the artificial photosynthesis process.
“We are developing a flexible system that can provide answers to various questions raised by the energy transition,” said Karl-Josef Kuhn, who is in charge of Power2X research at Siemens.
“We are making it possible to store renewable energy by converting it into useful substances such as speciality chemicals or fuel. We are also contributing to the stability of the grid because production is so flexible that we can respond to fluctuations in power supply.”
The test facility is scheduled to begin operations in early 2020 and feature electrolysers and a bioreactor. Following successful completion of the second phase of the Rheticus project, Evonik and Siemens will have a unique technology platform allowing production of energy-rich substances from CO2 in a flexible, modular process.
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