For several years now, BASF has been working on using carbon dioxide as feedstock for chemical manufacture. The company announced last week that alongside its partners Linde Group (a major industrial gas producer) and engineering firm ThyssenKrupp, the companies are looking to produce syngas using large volumes of waste CO2 from industrial processes.
The first step is to process natural gas to produce hydrogen and carbon. The hydrogen is then reacted with CO2 to give syngas, which is a key raw material for the chemical industry as well as in producing fuels.
BASF already has vast experience in capturing CO2 from gas flows. The company markets its amine-based gas treatment technology under the brand name aMDEA®. The BASF process has been used around the world in more than 220 gas scrubbing facilities mainly in natural gas and syngas facilities.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is subsidizing the project within its “Technologies for Sustainability and Climate Protection – Chemical Processes and Use of CO2” scheme. The project started on July 1, 2013, and is expected to last three years.
According to the partners, natural gas is plentiful and has more favorable content of hydrogen and carbon than biomass. The technology is also suitable for large-scale industrial production.
The partners intend to develop a pilot plant design and a concept for integrating the technology into existing chemical and steel-producing sites. With the deluge of projects utilizing carbon dioxide and monoxide, the value of these waste gases will probably go up very soon.