At the end of last year, an important milestone was reached in the framework of our project TAKE-OFF, as the first sample of raw dimethyl ether (DME) produced at the TAKE-OFF demonstrator in Niederaussem, Germany, arrived at the CNRS’ laboratories in Lille, France.
The raw DME samples were carried from Germany to France in special transport cylinders and a suitable filling system was engineered and supplied for the occasion. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the transport could be completed as planned in mid-December 2021.
The DME was produced from captured CO2 and hydrogen at the TAKE-OFF demonstrator and it will be used by the CNRS laboratories as a feedstock for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in an optimised synthesis route with newly developed catalysts.
The TAKE-OFF demonstrator at RWE’s innovation centre at Niederaussem comprises a CO2 capture pilot plant and CO2 infrastructure, an alkaline electrolyser developed by Asahi Kasei Europe and an innovative one-step DME-synthesis unit developed by Mitsubishi Power Europe. This site allows the RWE’s R&D team to operate the demonstrator 24/7.
The demonstration of the full synthesis chain of SAF in an industrial environment is pivotal to increasing the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) and robustness of the TAKE-OFF technology to contribute to reducing the aviation sector’s carbon footprint.
In 2022, one of the two production lines in Mitsubishi Power Europe´s DME synthesis unit will be converted to methanol synthesis, which will increase the flexibility of the demonstrator. The raw methanol will also be tested at CNRS as an intermediate for the production of SAF.
The TAKE-OFF project will develop and demonstrate the technology needed for the production of the next generation using captured CO2 and hydrogen. This technology route aims to develop a highly innovative process that produces SAF at lower costs and higher energy efficiency compared to other power-to-liquid alternatives.