The project "iNEW 2.0 – Incubator Sustainable Electrochemical Value Chains" focuses on the research and development of novel and efficient electrolysis processes for application in sustainable Power-to-X (PtX) value chains. These include Power-to-Syngas, Power-to-CO, Power-to-Methanol, Power-to-Formates, Power-to-Chemicals and Power-to-Ammonia. Scientists of the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Lead), the RWTH Aachen University and the Wuppertal Institute are developing and evaluating low-emission and sustainable solutions for the regional energy-intensive industries. The aim is to enable a successful transition of the Rhenish lignite mining area to a “Zukunftsrevier” (future region) for sustainable business. The PtX approach enables climate-neutral industrial processes using renewably generated electricity and renewable resources based on CO2 as a sustainable raw material. PtX thus represents the key technology for sector coupling and opens up the possibility of a carbon cycle economy. The aim of the project, which is already in its second funding phase, is to raise the novel PtX processes from laboratory application expressed as a technology readiness level (TRL) = 3 (experimental proof of concept) to the level of an operating prototype (TRL = 7) within ten years.
The three-years project, financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), involves researchers of the Wuppertal Institute's Research Units Sectors and Technologies as well as Material Cycles. They will conduct prospective life cycle assessments, assess the long-term demand for critical raw materials, and estimate the potential for application in industry of the power-to-methanol and power-to-ammonia routes, respectively. Through these ex-ante impact assessments, the Wuppertal Institute contributes to ensuring that the energy and industrial transformation can be designed in an environmentally sound and resource-friendly way in the long run.