SCI4climate.NRW: Research for a climate-neutral industry

Scientific competence center works on competitive solutions for companies

Climate-neutral industry in NRW

Industry is facing a major transformation process to achieve the climate targets defined in the Paris Climate Change Convention.


Innovative cross-industrial solutions must be implemented for a sustainable industry.

Project goals

Climate change is the central issue of our time. In order to meet the agreed greenhouse gas reduction targets of the Paris Climate Change Convention, immense efforts are required, which must be tackled as soon as possible. Now, the structure for a sustainable world has to be developed in which it is possible to do business in a climate-neutral and competitive way. The project SCI4climate.NRW will contribute significantly to this process. The project builds the scientific part of the IN4climate.NRW initiative, a group of the basic materials producing industry (steel, cement, chemicals, aluminum, paper, glass) and energy transporting infrastructure providers (gas, electricity) in North Rhine-Westphalia. The primary goal: identification of the most suitable transformation process and selection of the most appropriate technology therefore towards a climate-neutral and sustainable basic materials industry in 2050 - while maintaining economic efficiency and competitiveness.

Project benefits

IN4climate.NRW - and thus SCI4climate.NRW - designs cross-sectoral solutions and creates synergies between different sectors. The project partners identify and evaluate technologies contributing to achieve the overall goal. Furthermore, necessary infrastructure requirements for a climate-neutral production scenario as well as the boundary conditions for their realization are determined. The focus is on gas networks - e.g. for hydrogen and CO2 - and the corresponding components such as sites and dimensions for (energy) conversion (P2X), storage options and the most suitable energy carrier for transportation. At the same time, the parties involved address necessary adjustments to the political and legal framework.

IN4climate.NRW selects the relevant topics for the basic materials producing industry. The necessary scientific work is carried out in topic areas, which are managed by a SCI4climate.NRW:

  • Technologies and infrastructures (Fraunhofer UMSICHT)
  • Products and value chains (RWTH Aachen)
  • Scenarios and transformation paths (Wuppertal Institute)
  • General conditions and business models (IW Köln)

Currently, the topics hydrogen, carbon dioxide economy, circular economy with a special focus on polymers, political framework conditions, and narratives were selected. In the future, heat (low-temperature and high-temperature heat, process heat, waste heat utilization, system concepts such as power-to-heat (-to-power), etc.) could also be considered.

Project partners

  • Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie gGmbH (Project coordinator)
  • RWTH Aachen, Lehrstuhl für Operations Management
  • RWTH Aachen, Lehrstuhl Technische Thermodynamik und Institut für Thermodynamik
  • Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln e. V.
  • Verein Deutscher Zementwerke e. V.
  • VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH