The port industrial complex faces an enormous climate and economic challenge to transition to a sustainable economy. Carbon capture utilization (CCU) technologies are essential for a transition towards a carbon neutral economy, ensuring for industrial processes to become reliable and sustainable. Together with the City of Rotterdam, Unknown Group and other partners InnovationQuarter organised the global CCU Challenge, an opportunity for startups and scaleups to create solutions for our industry. By working together with promising startups and scaleups from around the world, the port of Rotterdam is positioning itself as a leading carbon utilisation hub that meets the growing demand for products from captured CO2.
Our region offers a prime location for companies seeking to valorize CO2 emissions and establish new business ventures in the chemical and energy industries. The region aims to be the circular feedstock hub and sustainable energy port of Europe, utilizing hydrogen, waste, biomass, and CO2. With our large industrial cluster, numerous production facilities, extensive infrastructure, and collaboration with renowned knowledge institutes, we provide a perfect environment for testing and implementing CCU technologies.
InnovationQuarter is working on the uptake of CCU with SmartPort and the Municipality of Rotterdam. The CCU challenge created an opportunity for international founders with solutions in the CO2 Mineralisation, Power-to-X, and Food & Feed domains to prove themselves and seek potential partnerships with the various partners of this challenge. During a matchmaking day 65 meetings were held with 15 startups and 14 partners. These are three examples of promising solutions on the three different domains:
Food & Feed products – Arkeon
The goal of this domain is to utilise carbon as input in the transition to alternative proteins and their production process. Arkeon’s proprietary technology leverages archaea microorganisms that naturally produce all the building blocks of proteins in only a single fermentation step. The company’s process converts CO2 directly into amino acids and functional peptides, enabling an entirely new world of food products. With a team that comprises world-leading Archaea biologists, process engineers, food scientists and fermentation technologists, the company is on a mission to change food production on a global scale.
Jacob Limbeek of OCAP, a company based in our region that transports CO2 as a valuable nutrient to horticultural companies and greenhouses: “Arkeon is an interesting company for us to follow up. They have a good understanding of what they are looking for and a concrete time schedule for a pilot in Rotterdam to scale up their solution. We continue to talk to parties like this to see how we can give them access to infrastructure for hydrogen and CO2.”
“The relatively higher added value of proteins are good at absorbing the initial extra cost of the CCU value chain.”
Melle Sijbrandij, business developer Circular at InnovationQuarter
Power-to-X chemicals and fuels – Dioxycle
This domain is focused on conversion technologies that utilise CO2 to transform it to fuels and chemicals. Dioxcycle develops a high-performance electrolysis platform to convert industrial carbon emissions into sustainable chemicals and fuel precursors. They adopt a unique fully integrated approach, combining patented innovations at multiple technology levels to develop the most energy and cost-efficient carbon dioxide electrolyser.
Fieldlab Industrial Electrification (FLIE), a joint initiative of TNO, FME, Deltalinqs, Port of Rotterdam and InnovationQuarter, is the place where the industry can share knowledge, test and implement novel technologies in service of making the energy intensive industry carbon neutral. The fieldlab provides the opportunity to explore strategic opportunities and realization of projects focused on process and supply chain integration, in cooperation with relevant supply chain partners.
“We are connecting Dioxycle to TNO’s CO2 electrolysis experts, the right market parties and support them with their life cycle assessment.”
Wiebe Buist of FLIE
Build materials by CO2 mineralisation – UpCatalyst
This domain targets solutions that transform CO2 into solid minerals. UP Catalyst produces sustainable carbon nanomaterials directly from CO2 or waste biomass for a vast range of applications ranging from green advanced battery technologies to biomedicine. Their technology is based on the transformation of molten salt carbon capture and electrochemical (MSCC-ET), where they electrochemically break the CO2 molecules into pure carbon and oxygen.
Sijbrandij: “UP Catalyst has developed an innovative molten salt CO2 capture and electro-transformation with which they can produce nanomaterials that are not only lightweight and structurally strong, but also super conductive. These materials have potential to find off takers in a large variety of regional industries.”
Visit our CCU page for more information. Are you searching for a location for your CCU-business in our region, please contact our Account Manager Loek Becker Hoff. For questions about CCU technologies, business opportunities, partners and laws and regulations, please contact our colleague Melle Sijbrandij.