Wim de Jong: CO2 as a feedstock, a long-term issue
Rapidly reducing CO2 emissions to limit further global warming is the biggest challenge for this century. We can achieve this by no longer using coal, oil and natural gas as energy sources. In some industrial processes, but also in energy recovery from non-recyclable waste streams, it is sometimes difficult to reduce CO2 emissions quickly. In that case, it is also possible to capture the CO2 and store it in empty gas fields or use it as a new raw material. Twence is committed to both options.

As early as 15 years ago, we started developing and deploying technology to capture and reuse CO2. Initially to gain small-scale experience with CO capture.2 (3,000 tonnes/year) to make a slurry of sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) using soda. This baking powder was used to clean flue gases from the combustion process. In this way, we gained knowledge on applying and improving CO2-capture technology needed to responsibly produce CO2 capture at our waste-to-energy plants

The next step was to reuse the CO2 in practice. To this end, Twence realised an installation in 2020 to test the CO2 to volatilise, with the aim of making the liquid CO2 as feedstock to greenhouse horticulture. Here, it is important to be able to ensure that the CO2 meets all quality requirements that are also necessary for delivery from a large-scale capture facility.

Large-scale capture facility

The stringent emission standards that apply in the operation of waste-to-energy plants provide additional scope to meet the highest quality standards for CO2 and find applications for both the fossil and biogenic parts (over 60 %) of the captured CO2. This is the basis for the construction of the large-scale capture facility for CO2 (100,000 tonnes/year) which will be commissioned at the end of this year with the support of a DEI grant from the Dutch government. Over time, we aim to capture CO2 at all our power plants.


Importantly, next, the application possibilities that Twence has come to realise over the past five years, such as mineralisation of CO2 with olivine, electrochemical conversion of CO2 to formic acid and synthetic methanol production with CO2 and H2, be further developed technically. This will allow technology companies to take their product to the market and more alternatives to sequestering CO2.

Growth Fund

A contribution from the Growth Fund to FutureCarbonNL to promote these technology developments and build a manufacturing industry for this technology in the Netherlands could help reuse CO2 greatly accelerate. Thus, to complement recycling of materials and deployment of bio-based raw materials, carbon chains with CO2 close and capture valuable CO2 preserved as raw material for new materials.

In this way, let us prevent a long-standing issue from turning into the hot breath on our backs of climate change.

Wim de Jong
(Advisor Market & Strategy at Twence)