e-Refinery: accelerating the electrification of the chemical industry
The energy transition has far-stretching implications for chemical companies. e-Refinery at TU Delft enables industry partners to start building the required technology capacity and human capital as soon as possible. Researchers in the e-Refinery initiative focus their research on the electrochemical conversion of sustainable electricity into fuels and chemical building blocks, from the molecular scale to large-scale system integration. Implementing e-Refinery will serve three important challenges that the society is facing: CO2 neutral Fuel, seasonal energy storage and a defossilized chemical industry.
In consultation with Dutch industry, it was decided to start with three bulk chemicals: hydrogen, formic acid and ethylene. After that, the electrochemical production of methane and methanol, carbon monoxide and ammonia will also be examined. Only through such a large-scale electrification will fuels become CO2 neutral in the future. This objective of e-Refinery is inextricably linked to that of smart electricity storage. By integrating the two sectors, surpluses or shortages can easily be exchanged between electricity-consuming industry and electricity suppliers. To achieve both objectives, e-Refinery follows an integrated approach; from material design in the laboratory to integration in large-scale systems.