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11 Oct 2019, 14:11
Benjamin Wehrmann

Siemens and Evonik launch 'artificial photosynthesis' project to turn CO2 into chemicals

Clean Energy Wire

German industry heavyweight Siemens and chemical company Evonik have launched a joint research project that turns carbon dioxide into specialty chemicals through an "artificial photosynthesis" procedure. By using water, bacteria and electricity from renewable sources for electrolysis, the project dubbed Rheticus II "has the potential to contribute to the success of Germany's energy transition”, said Thomas Haas of Evonik in a press release. The companies said their procedure, which adapts to fluctuations in power supply, can store energy by turning renewable power into chemicals or fuels. The joint facility is set to start operating in early 2020.

Synthetic fuels and so-called Power-to-x technology is considered to be a key ingredient for the success of the energy transition. The German government has made hydrogen production a cornerstone of its Energiewende strategy and plans to bring the production of artificial gas from excess wind and solar power to an industrial scale by providing funding to a range of pilot projects.

The Rheticus II facility converts CO2 into chemicals. Photo: Evonik
The Rheticus II facility converts CO2 into chemicals. Photo: Evonik
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