Challenge and concept
The energy transition in Germany (Energiewende) is in full swing and the associated expansion of wind and solar power is further increasing the supply of electricity from fluctuating sources. In periods of low demand for electricity, the excess supply of electrical energy can be alternatively used for the production of value.
Decentralized production of value chemicals from CO2 and air
Particularly promising is the production of carbon-based chemicals from water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2), which is in this case not emitted as climate-damaging exhaust gas but be used as a raw material. In addition, electrosynthesis processes can also be used on a smaller scale for the decentral production of locally required basic chemicals. This makes consumers, such as hospitals, independent of suppliers and possible delivery bottlenecks. An important application in this case is for example the production of hydrogen peroxide from air/oxygen (O2) and water.
Electrochemical reduction of the gaseous educts on a gas diffusion electrode
Both the generation of carbon-based basic chemicals and the production of hydrogen peroxide are based on the same concept: The gaseous educts (CO2 or oxygen) are electrochemically reduced at a gas diffusion electrode (GDE) and react with water to form the desired, higher-value product. In order to further improve the CO2 balance, these electrosynthesis units can each be operated with electricity from renewable sources.