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Joint project seeks low-emission industrial solutions

Converting electricity into another form of energy and then back into electricity is the basic idea behind P2X technology (Power to X), which can be applied to the production of synthetic fuels, chemicals and the edible proteins known as 'electric' foods.
gas flow

P2X research began in 2014 at the LUT University and has now expanded into the P2XEnable project with the participation of energy technology researchers from Aalto University. The aim of this research is to make energy systems and industrial production emissions-free while also increasing cost efficiency.

'Zero-emission production processes and increased energy and cost efficiency are key issues for achieving climate goals. Industry is undergoing a global transformation, which provides Finnish companies with a golden opportunity. The new expertise required by this transformation is being developed in Finland right now,' says Jarmo Partanen, director of the P2XEnable project and professor of electrical engineering at LUT University.

'Research collaboration with LUT University is very important to us, as we want to participate in promoting the sustainable development of Finnish industry,' says Assistant Professor Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio of the Aalto University Energy Conversion research group.

The Energy Conversion group is also represented in the project by Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen, who specialises in optimising energy systems through computational modelling.

Key P2X technologies include the production of hydrogen through the electrolysis of water, carbon dioxide capture from air and sea water, methanol synthesis with a novel modular reactor and high-temperature heat storage.

The energy and cost efficiency of these key technologies can be increased through various means. In the production of hydrogen, for example, energy use accounts for up to 85 % of production costs.

'What Aalto can specifically bring to the project is expertise in reactors and full process modelling, which benefits the development of technology as a whole,' Santasalo-Aarnio adds.

Putting carbon dioxide to work

P2X technologies can also be used in buildings. For example, by storing the heat buildings require, it is possible to balance the gap between energy production and consumption.

'We are also creating models in which the quality of indoor air can be improved through carbon dioxide capture, with the captured carbon further used to produce carbohydrates with electricity. Our goal is to also present the commercial potential of the research,' Partanen says.

What is the potential global impact of electric food?

The P2XEnable project also includes models on the technology and economics of producing electric food out of air, carbon dioxide and electricity.

'The modelling of electric food production is a new avenue of research for us, but it also represents the first study to take a comprehensive view of the commercial potential of the field,' Partanen notes.

Further information

Aalto University
Energy Conversion Research Group
Assistant Professor Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio
Tel. +358 (0)50 304 4482, [email protected]

Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen
tel. +358 (0)50 361 1471, [email protected]

LUT School of Energy Systems
Professor Jarmo Partanen
Tel. +358 (0)40 506 6564, [email protected]

Remarkable CO2 emission reductions by modular power (P2XEnable) is a 2.1 million-euro research initiative led by LUT University and funded mostly by Business Finland. LUT University's partners in the initiative are Aalto University and a group of companies. The initiative also includes two private corporate projects. The initiative is estimated to continue until 07/2022.

 

 

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