Evonik and Siemens launch Joint research project ‘Rheticus’


Evonik and Siemens have launched a project called Rheticus, which plans to use electricity from renewable sources and bacteria to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into specialty chemicals.

The two companies are working together on electrolysis and fermentation processes, an undertaking which is due to run for two years. The first test plant is scheduled to go on stream by 2021 at the Evonik facility in Marl, Germany which produces chemicals such as butanol and hexanol, both feedstocks for special plastics and food supplements, for example.

The next stage could see a plant with a production capacity of up to 20,000 tonnes a year. There is also potential to manufacture other specialty chemicals or fuels. Some 20 scientists from the two companies are involved in the project.

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