Green chemistry with TECH reactor receives NWO funding

November 17th 2021

DIFFER and Leiden University receive about € 850,000 from NWO’s Open Technology Program for building a new type of plasma reactor. This topological electro-chemistry (TECH) microwave plasma reactor, supplied by renewable electricity, can be used for the electrification of chemical conversion processes.

At this moment the chemical industry is a large contributor to CO2 emissions since fossil fuels are used as a heat source for chemical conversion processes. A microwave plasma generated by green electricity can deliver reaction heat to produce the base molecules for synthetic fuels and chemicals.

The project includes an (inter-) national collaboration with a big user committee of nine companies (Ampleon, Bruco IC, Stedin, Traxxys and others) and four universities (TU/e, UTwente, Maastricht and TUD). The companies Ampleon and Bruco IC will develop a high efficient microwave power amplifier source for the TECH reactor.

The TECH plasma is created in a special microwave cavity which simultaneously serves as a reaction chamber scalable to megawatt powers for a single unit. Using this reactor plasma chemical processing is expected to allow for a reaction temperature up to 10.000 K, e.g. enabling the direct cracking of CO2 into CO and oxygen. It has a small footprint, can be switched on and off quickly, does not need rare materials, and reactions take place in an energy efficient way. The applications of the TECH reactor for industrial processes are investigated in close contact with chemical industry.

More information
NWO Grants Open Technology Programme and Smart Industry 2020

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