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Contribution to the development of reactor technology for the conversion of CO2 into aviation fuel (Project 4AirCRAFT)

Abstract

The growth of the airline industry in recent years has stimulated the search for the production of aviation fuel from alternative energy sources. Within this scenario, the 4AirCRAFT project ("Air Carbon Recycling for Aviation Fuel Technology") was proposed, an international collaborative partnership between seven research institutions (5 from Europe, 1 from Japan and 1 from Brazil), with the objective of developing an unprecedented and disruptive technology for the synthesis of aviation fuel to from the direct conversion of CO2 into a multi-catalytic process. The 4AirCRAFT project has already been approved by the European Commission and aims to develop sustainable and clean synthetic fuel for aviation from the direct conversion of CO2. This project, consistent with the circular economy principle, aims to address the problem of greenhouse gas emissions produced by fossil fuels in the aviation sector, reducing its impact on the environment. This project also addresses the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations (UN), in which is performed Goal 13 "Climate Action", Goal 7 "Renewable energy", and Goal 9 "Innovation and infrastructure". The 4AirCRAFT project involves the integration of different processes for the conversion of CO2 into hydrocarbons, focusing on the development and validation of a prototype cascade reactor, involving a new generation of catalysts, for the synthesis of more sustainable liquid fuels. The project addresses the challenge of combining three main reactions in a single reactor with the aim of direct CO2 conversion whereas reducing energy consumption. The specific objectives would be: (1) Development of next generation catalysts, (2) Optimization of catalytic properties by developing novel porous catalyst supports for selective stabilization of catalysts; (3) Proof-of-concept testing of the advanced cascade reactor, with the determination of its environmental impact and cost. The project is organized in different work packages (WPs) in which the partner institutions will work together in synergy, taking advantage of the expertise of each group. The USP group will collaborate in several of these WPs, acting mainly in the characterization and performance evaluation of catalysts for the different stages of the process, determination of reaction kinetics and development of the simulation model for individual and combined processes. (AU)

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