Four questions to ...

... Prof. Robert Schlögl, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and Project Coordinator Carbon2Chem®

Interview of 02.10.2020

Director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and Project Coordinator
Prof. Robert Schlögl – Director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and Project Coordinator.

As director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, an institute in the field of basic research, what has been achieved so far in the joint project Carbon2Chem® from this perspective?

Robert Schlögl: We were able to successfully demonstrate that the catalytic processes of methanol synthesis with pure CO2 as the feedstock can be carried out highly productively. We have also been able to develop a dynamic plant management system that allows us to respond to varying availability of green energy with flexible production. For both achievements, we were able to investigate the fundamental physical-chemical relationships and thus ensure the robustness of our results.

What were the highlights?

Robert Schlögl: Proof that we do not need to develop new catalysts for pure CO2 as a feedstock for methanol synthesis. It was also shown that the fluctuations in the trace compounds in the steel mill gas that interfere with catalysis are manageable, which helps reduce the complexity of gas purification as a very critical step in the carbon cycle.

What were the biggest challenges?

Robert Schlögl: The training of a community between the partners and processors of the cross-industry project.

What are the next steps planned?

Robert Schlögl: The consolidation of the individual findings into a scalable production concept for methanol from steel mill gases and its validation on larger scales of running time and production volume.