Closing the carbon product cycle
Carbon is in almost all our everyday products. Usually it comes from fossil sources, such as oil and gas. But that's exactly what we want to get rid of, because it causes global warming. So how and from what are we going to make our products in the future?

FutureCarbonNL researches, develops and demonstrates technologies that reduce CO2 Utilise it as a circular raw material for new, sustainable materials and (animal) food.

The Netherlands is in an excellent position to become a global leader in Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU).



CCU projects wanted!

Do you or does your organisation work on research or development of conversion technologies that reduce CO2 exploit as a circular raw material, or are you considering starting this soon? Then register your project here.


Bert Weckhuysen
Utrecht University

"FutureCarbonNL brings together the right partners - with matching knowledge and ambitions - to start making a difference not only nationally, but also internationally. We do this to Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) a major step forward. For this, we need not only new fundamental scientific knowledge, but also the translation into technological developments, including the testing and scaling up of new materials and reactor concepts. It is this integrated approach that FutureCarbonNL makes it unique and therefore also a unique building block in making our society more sustainable."


FutureCarbonNL aims to establish a global leading CCU (carbon technology) sector in the Netherlands. To this end, FutureCarbonNL focuses on research, development and demonstration of technologies that can reduce CO2 (and CO) into new materials, fuels and (animal) food. Also called Carbon Capture and Utilisation, CCU. Besides recycling and biobased production, the world needs these technologies to make products without fossil resources. Our ambition is to make the Netherlands a leader in CCU technologies so that we can export this new technology globally. The application of the developed technologies and processes in the Netherlands can help build a new green basic industry in the Netherlands. By doing so, we can maintain a strategic independence when it comes to key raw materials.

The term CCU technology covers everything from catalysts, reactors and processes to entirely new value chains for the conversion of CO2/CO into larger molecules and products.

Both CCS and CCU use capture of CO2. The difference is in what happens to the CO2 happens. With CCS, the CO2 permanently stored (e.g. underground). CCU is a technique in which the captured CO2 is converted into valuable products. As a large number of studies have shown, in addition to recycling and biobased production, CCU is needed to make the carbon cycle of products circular. The development of CCU technologies and value chains still requires a lot of knowledge, development and time. We believe it is important to focus fully on CCU.

We do this for current and future generations, worldwide. With new CCU technologies, we can make products that everyone uses every day. We then make these products without using fossil resources.

With industrial and atmospheric carbon, we can start making chemicals, plastics, fuels, animal feed ingredients and other industrial products.

Recycling is important, but we won't save it with that alone. As many studies have shown, in addition to recycling and biobased production, we will need new carbon sources such as CO2 and CO needed. For instance, global demand for plastics is expected to grow by 3-4% annually. So more carbon will be needed, which must be made available in a sustainable way. Biobased production requires agricultural land, and there are limits to this - especially in the Netherlands.

We have sufficient green energy for the development of CCU technologies and initial demonstration plants. Depending on further scaling up of green energy generation in the Netherlands and possible imports of green hydrogen, large-scale production with CCU in the Netherlands is also possible. Independently of this, the Netherlands can be a leader in the development of knowledge and CCU technologies, selling them for export, and co-implementing them in other countries.

It offers the Netherlands opportunities and contributes to its earning potential. We can develop the knowledge, technologies and applications here, and then export (sell, licence) them abroad. Application in our own home market provides industry with the necessary experience with the new technology and production processes. And that provides the opportunity to scale them up, and export them internationally. Production in the home market can also increase geostrategic independence for key commodities.

We have everything in the Netherlands to become a global leader in CCU technology. We have good knowledge institutions, universities and chemists who are already working on this, a chemical industry willing to transform and invest, green energy to demonstrate the technology, and finally: we are incredibly good at cooperating, which you need for developing CCU technology and value chains.

To reduce CO2 and CO into materials, fuels and (animal) food, several technology routes are possible. FutureCarbonNL focuses on biological, electro-photochemical and thermo-catalytic conversion technologies as well as integrated capture and conversion. These are technologies on which knowledge already exists in the Netherlands and for which companies and institutions want to carry out research, development and demonstration projects under FutureCarbonNL.

CO2 and CO for CCU can come from industries in which CO2 -emissions remain (partly) unavoidable (e.g. cement and steel, bioenergy and biogas plants, bio-based production),and from combustion or gasification of non-recyclable products or directly from the atmosphere (Direct Air Capture).

FutureCarbonNL increases sustainable earning capacity along two lines:

  1. The development of a carbon tech sector that develops and exports technology. By including: knowledge and technology development, pre-commercial demonstration of first-generation technologies in large-scale regional value chains, development (and acceleration) of value chains through bringing together projects and stakeholders in the CCU area, international promotion (for export), attracting (foreign) investment in SMEs and start-ups/scale-ups.
  2. Domestic renewable production, as far as is possible with the amount of renewable energy available, and if it is desirable due to geostrategic independence.

FutureCarbonNL covers everything from TRL1 (basic research) to TRL8 (large-scale demonstration of new value chains).

We want to build a leading carbontech sector in the Netherlands with a powerful innovation impulse and intensive cooperation between knowledge institutions, startups, small, medium and large companies from different sectors. After approval of our Growth Fund proposal (summer 2023), open calls-for-proposals will be published from NWO and RVO. Until then, companies and startups can already submit ideas and project proposals to us. This helps us to better pitch the proposal, and to connect parties. If you want more information about this, please send an e-mail to: