P2X - Synthetic fuels from air, water and clean electricity
Low-emission synthetic fuels are becoming a key solution to transform transport carbon neutral and create a fossil-free future. The raw materials required for the fuel are carbon dioxide from the air, hydrogen from water or nitrogen from the air, and clean electricity from solar or wind power. End products such as methane, methanol, dimethyl ether and ammonia are known energy carriers and can also be used as raw materials in the chemical industry. Methane, methanol and dimethyl ether can power existing engines of ships, lorries and cars directly, saving investments during the transition. For the most part the fuel distribution system is already in place and allows us to speed up the transition to carbon neutral world.
LUT University has researched the subject on multiple levels from global modelling of the energy transition to technologies for capturing CO2 from air, chemical synthesis methods and catalysts. LUT scientists started the research in 2014 in the major four year strategic research project NeoCarbon together with VTT. As the result of the research, the findings are turning into a wealth of new business.
Production of hydrogen from water via electrolysis is still expensive due to the large amounts of electricity needed. LUT has been working towards more economical electrolysis and the results look promising. In order to create industrial size production, however, requires raw materials. Access to hydrogen and carbon dioxide point sources can make the production profitable in large scale.