Utilising CO2 in plant research

The CO2 scrubbing plant at the Coal Innovation Centre is one of the few separation plants worldwide where the CO2 produced during the combustion of coal can be liquefied or filled into gas cylinders in order to make it available for research projects dealing with the utilisation of CO2.

Jülich Research Centre to use CO2 from Niederaussem for plant reserach

At a press conference held at the Coal Innovation Centre on 7 October 2015, Dr Hartmann and Prof Marquardt, Chairman of the Jülich Reserach Centre, informed the public about the future use of the carbon dioxide captured with the pilot CO2 scrubbing plant in Niederaussem for plant research.

Algae and other plants can be used as an alternative to petroleum for aviation fuels, as a basic material for the chemical industry or for foodstuffs. Plants need CO2 as a nutrient to grow, and in future RWE Power AG will supply the Research Centre with this raw material from the Niederaussem CO2 scrubbing plant.

At the "Algae Science Centre" on the Jülich campus, the plant researchers of the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-2) feed microalgae with the CO2 captured in Niederaussem, obtaining, for instance, oils to be used as a basis for biofuels. Algae can utilise CO2 in extremely high concentrations. But the Jülich plant researchers also use the CO2 to investigate how the future yield of grain and other useful plants will change with an elevated CO2 concentration.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that global demand for biomass used for food and as feed will double until 2050.


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