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CO₂: Raw material, not a pollutant

cement plant © Rohrdorfer

A research project supported by the Cleantech Cluster of the business promotion agency Business Upper Austria is designed to enable an economically and ecologically purposeful use of CO₂. The objective of the industrial research project is to optimise the energy and cost balance of CO₂ capture from flue gas.

The cement plant Zementwerk Hatschek in Gmunden, Upper Austria, part of the cement division of the Rohrdorfer Group, is playing a key role in the project. The plant is one of the most modern, energy-efficient and environmentally compatible cement factories in the world and aims to operate in a climate-neutral manner by 2045. "We should succeed in this by means of a symbiotic carbon capture and utilisation process, namely the direct electrolysis of CO₂ from flue gas. In turn, this ensures energy-efficient head-to-tail processing," says Philipp Stadler, Process Engineer at Rohrdorfer Zement.

This new type of CO₂ absorption and electrolysis cell, which significantly streamlines the process and increases energy efficiency, is being developed by four Upper Austrian companies together with the University of Innsbruck. The basis for this is the modelling and simulation of the new process technology by experts at ENRAG, a young Upper Austrian company.

The electrolysis cell is being designed at the Gunde site and optimised on the basis of chemical experiments and long-term measurements. The Working Group for Materials and Electrochemistry at the Institute for Physical Chemistry of the University of Innsbruck is responsible for the basic research in the project. It is investigating the qualitative and quantitative nature of the products, amongst other things.

Go on reading and learn more about environmental research in Austria!

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