Interview with Florian Möllenbruck from the University of Duisburg-Essen and scientific assistant at the MefCO2 project

1) What would you say are the main objectives of the MefCO2 project?

Florian Möllenbruck (FM): The main objective of the MefCO2 project is the demonstration of a complete Power-to-Methanol-chain, which could be an integral part of a future energy system based on renewable energy sources.

2) What is the role of UDE within the MefCO2 project?

FM: The role of UDE within MefCO2 project is to perform process simulations in order to define optimal operating parameters of the MefCO2 concept and to identify the energy demand of the system. On this basis, further simulations for the coupling of a power-to-methanol with a power plant has been carried out. Finally, the MefCO2 concept will be evaluated ecologically by means of a life cycle analysis.

3) What are the main outcomes derived from the process simulations you have been working on?

FM: The electrolysis is the main driver for the energy demand of the power-to-methanol plant and thus also for the ecological feasibility. If low-carbon electricity is used for the operation, a significant reduction in global warming impacts could be achieved.

4) Is the model suggested by the MefCO2 project technically and economically viable? If not right now, what would be needed to make it viable?

FM: The model suggested by the MefCO2 project is technically viable. However a positive net present value cannot be achieved under the current technological and market status. Nevertheless, several technology and market developments such as the CO2 emission certificates can significantly influence the economics of the processes.

5) Is there any recent paper or publication in which part of UDE’s work within the MefCO2 project is reflected?

FM: We are currently working on two publication with colleagues from the University of Genoa (UNIGE). Both deal with process simulation (UDE) and techno-economic simulation (UNIGE) of a power-to-methanol plant. One of these will be presented at the SUPEHR (SUstainable PolyEnergy generation and HaRvesting) conference in Italy in September 2019.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement
No 637016.

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