Is it feasible to use biomass as a source of CO2?
Biomass does not scale. To produce sufficient aviation fuel for the airport of Amsterdam, for example, it would take twice the area of The Netherlands when relying on biomass.
Are flue gases a sustainable source of CO2?
Re-use of CO2 from flue gases is not circular and not sustainable. Certainly, flue gases need to be reused, but not by turning them into fuels. That would only result in a delayed form of fossil CO2 emissions. When you capture CO2 from flue gases, you should make the additional investment to store this CO2 underground.
Doesn't it take too much energy to capture CO2 from air?
Definitely not. The thermodynamic limit to capture CO2 from air is 125 kWh per ton of CO2. This would mean the yearly energy output of 1 (solar) PV panel is sufficient to capture the yearly CO2 emissions of an average person in Europe.
Aren’t there too many losses when converting renewable electricity into renewable hydrocarbons?
The conversion of renewable electricity into renewable hydrocarbons has an efficiency of about 50%. So, indeed some of the renewable energy is lost in the conversion. But the production potential of renewable electricity is a thousand times greater than world-wide energy consumption.
The challenge is not to achieve sufficient production but to transport and store renewable electricity. This is possible by converting renewable electricity into renewable hydrocarbons.
Renewable H2 and renewable CO2 yield renewable hydrocarbons. Where will you get the renewable H2 and is that an expensive process?
The price of renewable H2 largely relies on the price of renewable electricity. We foresee the production of renewable H2 will start in those regions of the world with a lot of sun and/or wind where prices of a renewable kWh are lower than 1 Eurocent per kWh.
As our technology to capture CO2 from air is location-independent, we can easily deploy these systems on the same locations where renewable H2 can be produced in a cost-effective way. And because the resulting renewable hydrocarbon can easily be stored and transported, it can subsequently be transported to areas in the world that need renewable energy.
Won’t renewable hydrocarbons always be more expensive than fossil hydrocarbons?
We expect that by 2030 it will be possible to produce renewable hydrocarbons for the price of fossil hydrocarbons. This means that beyond 2030, it makes no economic sense to further invest in the exploitation of fossil oil and gas. Instead, all these investments will go into new solar and wind farms and the facilities to convert renewable electricity into renewable hydrocarbons.
Why is burning of renewable fuels better than dirty fossil fuels?
Renewable hydrocarbons are far cleaner than fossil hydrocarbons, because it only contains what you put in: H2 and CO2. It does not contain sulphur or any other contaminants found in fossil hydrocarbons.
Moreover, we see renewable hydrocarbons more as an effective carrier of renewable electricity. Technologies exist to convert the renewable hydrocarbon back into renewable electricity – decomposing it again into pure water and air without any contamination.