Start: October 2021
End: October 2024
In this project, we are exploring new processes for synthesizing hydrogen peroxide and methanol from green hydrogen. The annual production of both of these chemicals is in the range of millions of tons per year. The hydrogen used as a feedstock in their production often comes from a petrochemical source. The use of green hydrogen as an alternative to petrochemicals promises a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the chemical industry.
Carbon Minds will use life cycle assessment to compare the electrochemical production of hydrogen peroxide and propylene oxide with conventional production processes. Since the electrochemical processes are still in the early stages of development, the methodically correct life cycle assessment of the processes is particularly difficult and research-intensive. Above all, it must be ensured that the technologies in earlier stages of development are scientifically sound and fairly compared with the processes carried out on a large scale.
To address this problem and achieve the goal, Carbon Minds will collect the mass and energy balances of the electrochemical processes in cooperation with the project partners. Then we will transfer these mass and energy balances into a digital life cycle model of the electrochemical routes. Based on this digital life cycle model, we will identify ecological hotspots in the production chain and communicate these to the project partners. In this way, the process design can be optimised in early project phases with regard to the subsequent environmental impacts. Finally, we will compare the environmental impacts of electrochemical production with the environmental impacts of conventional production processes. We will examine various environmental impacts, such as the effects on climate change or metal consumption. In this way, a shift from one environmental impact to another can be avoided.
Thanks to these analyses, the new electrochemical processes can be compared with the conventional processes. The comparison can ensure that the new electrochemical processes reduce the overall environmental impact without shifting impacts from one category to another.