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10 december 2018

Approved FOM programme

Number 147.
Title CO2-neutral fuels (CO2NF)
Executive organisational unit DIFFER & BUW
Programme management Prof.dr.ir. M.C.M. van de Sanden
Duration 2012-2021
Cost estimate M€ 7.0 (part via FOM)
Partners Shell, NWO-AB, NWO-CW

The aim of the programme is to address key aspects of the production of CO2-neutral fuels from carbon dioxide and water within a framework of four multidisciplinary research themes, leading to use-inspired research with great valorisation potential. These four research themes are:

  1. photocatalytic approaches for CO2-neutral fuels: functional inorganic semiconductor materials;
  2. responsive matrices for CO2-neutral production of solar fuels;
  3. out-of-equilibrium processing of solar fuels;
  4. process and reactor development for the downstream synthesis of fuels or chemicals.

The programme contributes to the Dutch top sectors Energy and Chemistry.

Background, relevance and implementation
There is a strong need to produce, with minimal kinetic losses, CO2 neutral fuels from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, to alleviate the intermittent character of these sustainable energy sources by storing the energy in fuels and to mitigate the detrimental climate effect of the globally increasing CO2 levels.
The 'CO2-neutral fuels' programme consists of three parts::

  1. an open call 'CO2-neutral fuels' with a budget of M€ 5.0 issued by FOM;
  2. two tenure track positions for new research lines at FOM Institute DIFFER (M€ 2.0);
  3. an open call 'Plasma conversion of CO2' with a budget of M€ 2.0 issued by STW.

The 'CO2-neutral fuels' programme committee, chaired by Prof.dr.ir. M.C.M. van de Sanden, is responsible for the publication of the calls and, consulting international reviewers, for the selection of the projects to be funded.
The steering committee with representatives of Shell, FOM and NWO-CW is the ultimate decision body of the programme and acts in accordance with the steering committee of the overall CSER initiative.

This FOM programme is part of the overarching initiative 'Computational sciences for energy research'. For administrative reasons and transparency the CSER initiative has been split in four programmes that have the following main objectives:

  • the education of 75 PhD students who are willing to work at the Shell 'Computational Centre of Excellence' in Bangalore, India, after finishing their PhD (FOM IPP i32, CSER-PhD);
  • contribute to the NWO theme 'Duurzame Energie' through the programmes 'Uncertainty reduction in smart energy systems' (FOM/NWO-MaGW programme 146, URSES) and 'CO2-neutral fuels' (FOM/NWO-CW programme 147, CO2NF);
  • investments in the Dutch computational sciences infrastructure at universities and para-university research institutes, mostly through tenure track positions (FOM programme 145, CSER-KIF).

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2014 within this FOM programme here.