In January Siemens and Evonik presented a new joint research project called Rheticus. In the project, approximately 20 experts from both companies are working to generate valuable specialty chemicals from CO2. The first phase of the project will end in 2019, and plans call for the completion of an initial test facility at the Evonik location in Marl two years later.
How does the process work? In the first step, a Siemens electrolyzer uses renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into metabolizable carbon monoxide (CO). Next, a fermentation process from Evonik very selectively converts the gases containing CO into valuable substances with the help of special microorganisms. The end products are chemicals such as butanol and hexanol, both of which are starting materials for products such as specialty plastics and food additives.