of this project is to investigate the integration of solid oxide electrolysis
cells (SOEC) and the U-loop technology. By combining these two technologies, it
is possible to convert a carbonaceous gas such as CO2 to protein by
using electricity in the SOEC. The U-Loop fermenting technology patented by
Unibio A/S enables efficient conversion of methane to protein, which can be
used as animal feedstock. The U-Loop protein production emits CO2
and water, which can be fed to the SOEC. The SOEC uses electricity to convert
CO2 and H2O to CO and H2, but also directly to
methane (CH4) at higher operating pressures. By operating the SOC
stacks in the right manner pure oxygen or oxygen enriched air is produced
simultaneously. Oxygen or enriched air is needed by the U-Loop fermentor. The
integration between SOEC’s and the U-Loop fermenting technology is illustrated
in the figure.
work includes building a thermodynamic model of the U-Loop process and
connecting it with an existing model of an SOEC. The system is then optimized
with respect to energy efficiency and costs, and compared with competing
protein production processes, also considering environmental effects.
thermodynamic modelling and analysis will most likely be performed in the
in-house modelling software DNA.
Importantly, bio-derived carbon sources will
become scarce in a future fossil-free society, which emphasizes efficient usage
of carbon sources. In addition to the above mentioned synergy, a potential
long-term added value of the combined system is related to a) grid balancing,
i.e. utilization of surplus electricity from renewable energy sources as wind
or solar power and/or provide power to the electricity grid at times with low
wind and no sun, and b) long-term (seasonal) energy storage via links to the
natural gas grid.
I samarbejde medUnibio A/S
experience with thermodynamic modelling