Why do we need it?

Climate change is urging us to move towards a CO2-neutral (or even negative) sustainable energy system. e-Refinery technology contributes to the ambitions formulated in the Dutch Klimaatakkoord, which states the ambition of 49% -reduction of CO2 emission in 2030 and 95% in 2050, and the Paris Climate Agreement to limit the increase of temperature to 1.5°C in 2050 relative to 1990 levels. Electrification is a key enabler towards reducing CO2 emission. The availability of renewable electrical energy does however not remove the demand for fuels, chemicals and other materials. In addition, the variability of nature calls for electricity storage to safeguard continuous electricity supply. Given the Dutch strategic position in the international chemical, renewable energy and transport sectors, TU Delft sees exciting opportunities to establish strong cooperation with partners for taking the first steps towards industrial scale refineries that deliver chemicals and fuels based on electrosynthesis using renewable electricity: ‘e-Refinery’ systems.

These systems contribute to three important challenges of the energy transition: 

  • A defossilised chemical industry using sustainable feedstock; platform chemicals and other materials using electrical energy from renewable sources addresses sustainability demands a decisive step towards creating a circular economy.
  • The production of large-scale sustainable synthetic fuels for application in the industry sector or for heavy long-distance transport and aviation.
  • Large scale energy storage; flexible energy storage in the form of chemicals produced by using electrical energy offers prospects for the energy sector to deal with the growing challenge of demand versus supply mismatch