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Location planning for the production of CO2-based chemicals using the example of olefin production

: Thonemann, Nils; Stießel, Sebastian; Maga, Daniel; Dresen, Boris; Hiebel, Markus; Hunstock, Björn; Deerberg, Görge; Weidner, Eckhard

Volltext ()

Chemical Engineering and Technology 43 (2020), Nr.3, S.502-513
ISSN: 0930-7516
ISSN: 1521-4125
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Deutschland)
03EK3037D; Carbon2Chem
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Oberhausen ()
carbon capture and utilization (CCU); CO2 sources; CO2 utilization; Methanol‐to‐Olefins; location planning; CO2 sources; CO2 use; location planning

The use of CO2 as a raw material is increasingly important as an option for climate protection and as an alternative raw material feedstock. Both electrochemical direct syntheses and thermochemical processes are associated with a high demand for electrical energy. A contribution to climate protection is only possible in the case of low‐carbon power generation, as can be achieved, for example, by wind power or solar energy. This article presents a methodology for identifying suitable locations for the CO2‐based production of olefins in Germany. Based on electricity and CO2 requirements, locations are identified that can provide sufficient CO2 and renewable energy for the conversion of CO2 to olefins. In addition, the use of existing infrastructures is taken into account. The analysis shows that the regional, technical renewable energy potential in Germany is sufficient to produce around approximately 800 kt of olefins from CO2‐based methanol per year in one plant. This plant capacity corresponds to the currently largest methanol‐to‐olefins plant in the world. On the other hand, the currently available CO2 point sources with high CO2 concentrations of around 100 % are not sufficient to meet the CO2 requirement of an 800 kt/a methanol‐to‐olefins plant. Therefore, much larger CO2 point sources such as coal‐fired power plants or steel mills with lower CO2 concentrations of less than 35 % are needed. If existing refineries are preferred due to existing infrastructure services, locations in the north of Cologne, in Lower Saxony and in Brandenburg are particularly suitable. The analysis also shows that a full substitution of fossil olefins by CO2‐based olefins is possible in Germany. The challenge is to provide sufficient renewable electricity of more than 244 TWh/a for the production of H2 with a low CO2 intensity.