Sustainable Fuels via INtegrated Conversion and Separation

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

The aviation sector is facing major challenges to reduce its climate footprint. Where in other transport direct electrification is feasible, hydrocarbons will remain the dominant fuel for airplanes. Synthetic kerosene based on renewable H2 and CO2 is more of the few options. This drop-in fuel can be synthesized via the well-known Fischer-Tropsch route and via the emerging methanol route. Both synthetic routes benefit from a syngas containing CO and H2, produced via selective CO2 reduction process to CO. The traditional thermochemical conversion is achieved by an endothermic reverse water-gas-shift reaction limited by thermodynamic equilibrium and requires operation above 850°C creating a risk of catalyst deactivation and the formation of undesired side-products. The key challenge is to design a low temperature process that combines a high conversion with a high selectivity.

An efficient way to increase the conversion at lower temperatures is through the in-situ water removal by addition of a selective sorbent functionality to the catalyst bed. The sorption enhanced process COMAX, allows for reliable operation below 350°C and at pressures above 10 bar. The technology has been validated in the laboratory up to TRL2 with predesigned highly performing bifunctional materials. The CO2 conversion and CO selectivity of over 95% have been achieved. The objective of the SFINCS project is to scale up the COMAX technology to TRL 4, while increasing the CO2 conversion and CO selectivity to at least 99% using industrially produced bifunctional materials.

Korte omschrijving
The project goal will be achieved by a consortium of key, industrial, players from the essential value chain from feedstock supply to the end use. The activities are comprised in four areas of development: 1) materials design and industrial production; 2) process model and unit design, heat integration; 3) experimental TRL4 demonstration and 4) evaluation of environmental impact and economic potential including a business case study of the further integration with downstream processes to meet the specification of the fuel market standards.

The result of the project is demonstration of optimized COMAX process at TRL4, which includes 1) scale up materials fabrication able to provide high conversion and selectivity at low temperatures, 2) process designed in a flexible way to produce syngas compositions for two downstream process routes, 3) integrated heat management minimizing the costs and carbon footprint compared to state-of-the-art technologies. Investments and operational costs are calculated, and two business case scenarios of SAF production are provided to ensure commercialization well before 2030.