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Alta Innovation Support will set up a pilot at Valuepark Terneuzen (part of North Sea Port, The Netherlands) to convert CO2 and gases from the local chemical industry in the province of Zeeland into a liquid that can be used in batteries.
Editorial office / Terneuzen

This makes ‘CO2 Re-use in a Cyclic Carbonate’ the first project in the Dutch Zeeuws-Vlaanderen/Vlissingen-Oost region to win a grant from the new European Just Transition Fund (JTF). The Fund was launched early this year to address the economic and social consequences of the transition from fossil to green industry. The project is also receiving funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The total grant amount is over €1.8 million.

“The technical developments within this pilot make a great contribution to circularity and circular chemistry in the region,” said Zeeland’s deputy Jo-Annes de Bat.

Valuable chemicals from CO2

The economy of the Zeeuws-Vlaanderen/Vlissingen-Oost region runs largely on carbon streams of fossil origin. Looking to the future, however, industrial players are developing new and innovative technologies. The storage of CO2 and its conversion into valuable chemicals, or Carbon Capture and Utilisation, is a promising method for climate transition, as it reduces emissions and makes carbon as a feedstock part of the solution.

“Our mission is to substantially green the chemical industry,” says Frank Vergunst, founder of Alta Innovation Support. “Using CO2 and waste biomass as renewable resources for valuable products and materials is highly desirable to make various production chains more sustainable.” The originally Gouda-based company has developed an innovative chemical technology that can convert CO2 and epoxides (a gaseous petrochemical by-product) into a key raw material for lithium-ion batteries.

Frank Vergunst: “In this pilot, process data is measured and analysed so that the process can be accurately modelled and we can safely scale up further. This project represents an essential step in the development that an innovation in the chemical industry needs to go through to reach a commercially viable end product. The JTF grant will allow us to achieve this faster.”

Highly skilled workforce

Highly trained (technical) personnel are also important in this transition. That is why Alta is working closely with Zeeland’s knowledge institutions, such as HZ University and University College Roosevelt. “We want to make an active contribution to making the sector and various knowledge institutions in Zeeland a Centre of Excellence.”

Alta can also count on support from the regional development agency. Frank Vergunst: “The participation fund of Impuls Zeeland has made an important contribution to our growth. In turn, we can now contribute to the growth of Zeeland’s economy and employment with this project.”

Just Transition Fund

Achieving a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 will require major changes with social and economic consequences, especially in regions heavily dependent on fossil industries. In the southern Netherlands, these are Zeeuws-Vlaanderen/Vlissingen-Oost, West-North Brabant and South Limburg. They will each receive around €58.5 million for the green transition. Companies, education and municipalities can apply for grants for projects that contribute to this.

More information on the JTF can be found on the website of the European Commission.

Image: Alta Innovation Support