CO2 - Loop for Energy storage and conversion to Organic chemistry Processes through advanced catalytic Systems

European Union Seventh Framework Programme
Focus on results at the prototype system scale
 Home Newsletter 6 / Jan 2016

CEOPS events:

  • Summer School CO2

Under the chairmanship of Jacques Amouroux, the CEOPS project organised its 2nd Summer School on Carbon dioxide on 19 September 2015 in Warsaw as a satellite event of the E-MRS Fall Meeting.

The main topic of this intergenerational forum for students and scientists was:
"Carbon dioxide Management: the raw material of the industrial revolution of the 21st century"
Key steps: capture, material synthesis, energy storage

More information on the Programme can be found on the
E-MRS website.

Summer School CO2

  • Workshop with CCB members
    The annual general assembly of CCB was held on 9 November 2015 at the Event Forum Fürstenfeld near Munich, Germany.

    With 155 registered participants from the German chemical industry and associated European partner clusters, this event was perfectly suited for the dissemination of the CEOPS project idea.

    More information in the article below.

    CCB Workshop

Project coordinator:

Laurent BEDEL 
CEA-Grenoble - LITEN-DTBH 
38054 Grenoble Cedex 9 
Tél: 33-4-38-78-57-20 



The CEOPS project is focused on the development of advanced catalysts and processes for the conversion of CO2 to methane (pathway A), at the point of CO2 emission, and, after methane transportation, the direct conversion of methane to methanol (pathway B), at the final user facilities. Methane can be used as an easily storable and transportable carbon vector, which can be injected into the existing natural gas network. 


Specific advanced catalytic materials were developed and evaluated for each chemical pathway in order to overcome
the current limitations of thermal catalysis: catalyst ageing (Lewis acid) due to water adsorption (Lewis base) during the CO2 hydrogenation to CH4 and low CH4 conversion rate and selectivity in CH3OH during the methane direct conversion to methanol.



Three different promising electro-catalytic processes were evaluated as regards the CO2 conversion into methane and the direct conversion of methane into methanol: DBD (Dielectric Barrier Discharge) plasma catalysis, photo-activated catalysis and electro-catalytic reduction.


Prototype system

A prototype system composed of two reactors has been built-up in order to prove the CEOPS concept and to give the first performances data. The DBD plasma catalytic process has been selected for methane production (pathway A) and the photo-catalytic process for methanol production (pathway B), both processes are integrated to the test bench at CEA. Advanced catalysts have been supplied by IST and IREC.

 CEA test bench

Figure 1: CEA test bench including both sub-reactors


DBD plasma reactor for pathway A

It has been demonstrated that the assistance of plasma in the reactor has a noticeable effect on methanation at low temperature (170-200°C).

 Figure 2

Figure 2: Evolution of CO2 conversion and CH4 selectivity with IST catalyst as function of temperature for a total inlet gas flowrate of 10slm at 3barabs.

The effect is specifically significant between170°C and 200°C were the conversion rate rockets from quite zero to 60% with a selectivity beyond 99%, this result confirms the effect demonstrated by UPMC partner on a lab DBD reactor. Above 200°C it seems that the effect is not sufficient regarding the complication of the integration and use of plasma in a fluidized bed.


Photocatalytic reactor for pathway B

The photocatalytic reactor aims at at producing methanol by partial oxidation of methane. The reaction was done with a catalyst slurry percolated with assistance of UV light. All tests conducted at CEA evidence some upscaling issues of the photocatalytic process. This result confirms the challenge of this reaction, not only regarding the process itself but also in the analytical aspect. Nevertheless, we highlighted that the methanol production by methane partial oxidation was obtained at the lab scale reactor with unprecedented selectivity by photocatalysis. Moreover, under certain experimental parameters some other oxidative products as ethane or ethanol were also obtained in the lab scale.


3rd Workshop with CCB members

Speakers of the Workshop

For the CEOPS workshop four experts in the field of renewable methane and methanol production, CO2-valorization and biofuels from different industrial sectors and academia were invited: Laurent Bedel and Professor Jacques Amouroux, members of the CEOPS consortium, and two external experts from the chemical and automotive industry. Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke has experience in mechanical engineering and construction of petrochemical plants and is an expert in methanol production from alternative sources. Hendrik Gosda works in the department for renewable fuels at Audi AG and is responsible for the holistic comparison of future mobility concepts.

Presentations on CO2 Utilization and Open Discusion

The four speakers drew a picture of completely different facets of CO2 valorization. The different aspects included general overviews of regional and political differences in Europe, information on running and planned pilot and demonstration projects and insights into the chemical and the automotive sector.

In his presentation about the power to gas roadmap in France, Laurent Bedel gave an overview of the status quo of gas as the energy storage and transportation tool of the future. He gave insights into the GRTgaz demonstration plant, which is planned in close proximity to Marseille, France. Professor Jacques Amouroux spoke more in detail about the general energy challenge Europe is facing. Already in 2014 it imported half of the energy it consumed, with a tendency of further increase. Today, 86% of the globally consumed energy originates from fossil sources, which implies massive CO2 emissions. We have to change this in order to develop a sustainable situation of the global energy supply. Professor Amouroux gave examples for carbon capture activities and recovery technologies towards a circular economy. Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke went into detail about the production of methanol as the key to CO2 valorization. He showed that methanol can be used as energy storage, fuel component and chemical feedstock. The pivotal step in the methanol production sequence seems to be choosing the right hydrogen source. It is of outmost importance to make methanol production a sustainable solution to our energy challenges. Hendrik Gosda could draw a precise picture of the awareness of environmental impacts as part of Audi’s corporate mission. The principle of the Audi e-fuels is to use CO2 as a raw material for fuel production in a closed cycle. He shows different green fuel products of the Audi portfolio.