Plasma reactor D-CRBN makes new raw materials from CO2

About D-CRBN

  • Founders: David Ziegler, Gilles Scheltjens, Annemie Bogaerts and Georgi Trenchev
  • Founded in: 2021
  • Employees: 4
  • Money raised: –
  • Ultimate goal: Upscales quantities to industrial levels to achieve climate goals

Start-up D-CRBN wants to build plasma reactors in the port of Antwerp to collect CO collected from industry2 converted to carbon monoxide. They will make new fuels, chemicals and chemical raw materials. It should have a positive impact on the climate. David Ziegler, one of the founders of the company, tells more about it in this episode of Startup of the Day. The project is the result of 10 years of research at the University of Antwerp. It is an investment of several million euros.

you make off CO₂ a product using a plasma reactor. How does it work?

“With our plasma reactor, we generate lightning that breaks down CO₂ into carbon monoxide. Many products are made from this in the chemical industry. We are the successor to the CCS history, which stands for CO2 capture and storage. We will really use CO₂. This is called Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU). Here we make a big difference with other technologies. ”

What is the timing?

“We hope to build our first test line around the summer period. Everything happens on the Blue Gate page. Our production hall is ready. This has never been done before. Our ambition is to have a first industrial installation ready within three years, producing 30-50,000 tons of CO per year2 may break. Within five years, we hope to establish industrial recycling plants, each capable of processing 1 million tonnes per year. For 1 million tons of CO2 to compensate, plant 45 million trees.

The plasma reactors can be switched on and off with a single push of a button. So if there is an abundance of renewable energy available, they can be turned on. What will be the effect of the prototype?

“They are still just prototypes. The impact is currently very small. You can not immediately scale up from a laboratory environment to an industrial application. It takes time. Once we have scaled it up to a commercial unit, it becomes industrially relevant. Ours “The intention is to place mobile devices in strategic locations in the future, where you can convert from 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year. You can place these mobile devices anywhere near your customers. This is being listened to.”

The prototype is only the beginning. You have bigger plans. What do they mean?

“In 2030, we will realize our big dream. It is a recycling plant. It is a kind of factory that receives CO₂ from different customers. We can therefore serve different customers. Everything can be brought to us via one pipeline, where we then decompose CO₂ locally. “For this, we are striving for a place in the Antwerp NextGen district, located in the port of Antwerp. It is our dream. It is far into the future.”

Which products can be made from CO?

“If we add hydrogen to CO, we can produce methanol. This is a fuel that has been in high demand in recent years. Especially in the maritime sector. We look at it to make partnerships in it. We can work on renewable energy. If there is a surplus of wind or solar energy, our process can work on it. We can make green chemicals and green fuel. That is a huge advantage over other competitors. ”

What is the impact on the environment?

“We are converting the captured CO2 so it does not get into the air. We have a business model to reduce CO2 to recycle locally. We have a circular project. We do not believe in storing CO2† This is a temporary solution. For now, it’s the best solution to not let it disappear into the atmosphere. Now that’s a good solution. But not in the long run. There is also a huge cost involved in storing all that and taking it away with ships. ”

Do you think companies will cooperate?

“There is so much pressure from governments and Europe to do something about it. CO2The tax always rises. It is now 80 euros per. ton. Governments are pushing companies to produce sustainably. I think there is a will. We have a long-term vision. You can’t change the industry in a few years. ”

You are a spin-off of the University of Antwerp. How important is it to have a university behind your project?

“We are a spin-off of the research group Plasmant. That, of course, gives us credibility. It preceded more than 10 years of research with the university. We are located in the port of Antwerp. Even though we already dare to look at the world. Our technology can be rolled out all over the world. Then I look at all the ports, from Singapore to Rotterdam. ”

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