The mass production of the environment-friendly synthetic crude oil substitute, Blue Crude, will become a reality from 2020, says research and development company Sunfire.
The first plant will start operating in the Heroya industrial park, in Norway. The operation will employ 20 MW electric capacity, producing 8 000 t/y of Blue Crude.
Synthetic fuels producer Nordic Blue Crude AS, Sunfire, and mechanical engineering companies Climeworks and EDL Anlagenbau have already started on the project’s engineering.S
ynthetic Blue Crude consists of various hydrocarbons – making it comparable with crude oil. Refineries can use it as a raw material for waxes, as well as petrol, diesel, kerosene and even rocket fuel.
About 3 000 products, which are currently made from crude oil, could be manufactured using Blue Crude as a basis, states Sunfire, from chewing gums and credit cards to sneakers and smartphones, as well as climate-neutral fuels.
Blue Crude can function as a replacement employed directly by using existing production processes and distribution networks, without any complex renewables or adjustments.
Nordic Blue Crude AS, located in the industrial city of Porsgrunn, Norway, will operate the power-to-liquids plant and already markets the synthetic crude oil substitute to manufacturers of cars, trucks, trains, airplanes and ships, as well as to specialised chemical refineries.
The yearly production volume would, for example, be sufficient to supply 13 000 cars with synthetic fuel and avoid 21 000 t of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, that would have resulted from using fossil fuel.
Nordic Blue Crude AS states that the target price per litre is below two euros.
Blue Crude is created in a highly efficient, three-stage process, developed by Sunfire and consists of a patented power-to-liquids procedure employing nothing but water, CO2 and renewable energy – in Norway the continuously available, cost-efficient green energy from hydropower is put to use.
The core element is the steam electrolysis process that efficiently splits steam into its components, hydrogen and oxygen. Subsequently, the CO2 is transformed into carbon monoxide and then the synthesis towards Blue Crude is effected.
The gaseous CO2, employed as a carbon source, is partly extracted on site from the ambient air by using the Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, developed by Climeworks. The exploitation of the waste heat from the Sunfire process makes the DAC technology highly efficient.
Sunfire has already produced three tons of Blue Crude in its power-to-liquids demonstration plant in Dresden, in Germany, which was operated continuously, verifying the operational time of 1 500 hours, vital for industrial requirements.
Nordic Blue Crude AS CEO Gunnar Holden says the company’s goal is to increase capacity tenfold as soon as the company has gained enough experience from operating the first plant in its first stage of operation using ten-million litres.
“In the long term, up to ten similar plants could become reality in Scandinavia. We are proud to announce that we are a full member of the Social Stock Exchange, in London, which is an important milestone in financing the plants.”