We selected three candidates who can all make a difference in the transition to an emission-free industry. Now it’s up to you to select your favorite. Read the background of the innovations below, watch the film and vote for your favourite Industrial Energy Enlightenmentz. At the European Industry & Energy Summit, you can attend the pitch of the candidates. Not yet registered? Then do it quickly.
Antecy / Climeworks – Direct Air Capture CO2
The technology of direct air capture (DAC) is fairly simple: a fan directs an air flow past an adsorbent, after which it is enriched with carbon dioxide. When the adsorbent is saturated, it is heated so that it releases the CO2. Commonly used adsorbents are alkanolamines such as monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA) and methyl diethanolamine (MDEA).
Antecy developed a solid adsorbent based on potassium bicarbonate, a well-known food additive. The potassium salt, also known as potassium hydrogen carbonate, is very hygroscopic, that is: it attracts and retains water. That quality makes it ideal for adsorbing CO2 out of the air. Even better is the fact that the salt releases it’s load of CO2 at relatively low temperatures.
Robert Rosa, business developer at Antecy, indicates that the main benefits of the solid, non-amine absorbent are lower costs and less degradation. Rosa: “Regeneration of the saturated potassium bicarbonate occurs at temperatures from eighty degrees Celsius. If a Direct Air Capture installation is built near the industry, it can use residual heat for the regeneration process. Or else solar heat would also be an option. Moreover, at that low temperature it is not necessary to actively cool, but the ambient temperature is sufficient. So you save energy on two sides.”
SoundEnergy – thermo-acoustic cooling
The thermo-acoustic heat pump was a great promise for years. Soundenergy is now launching a commercial product that uses the principle to convert residual heat into cooling. The potential in the industry is enormous and the first customers use all ready their residual heat to cool buildings.
CEO of Soundenergy Herbert Berkhout: “The crux of our thermoacoustic heat pump is that there are hardly any rotating parts in it. Simply put, you use a pressure vessel with Argon to which you add heat. Just as a balloon expands when it becomes warm, a pressure difference also occurs in the pressure vessel. The potential of the thermal energy has thus been converted into mechanical energy. Like with a speaker, that energy sets a sound wave in motion.