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Sunfire to build 8 000 tonne-per-annum power-to-liquid facility in Norway

Sunfire GmbH has announced that it together with a consortium of partners have begun engineering of an industrial-scale "Blue Crude" power-to-liquid production facility in Norway.

Power-to-liquid (PtL) technology developers Sunfire GmbH has announced that an 8 000 tonne-per-annum “Blue Crude” facility is to be built in Norway. Rolf Bruknapp, Nordic Blue Crude (left) and Carl Berninghausen CEO Sunfire (photo courtesy Katja Mattner/Sunfire).

Sunfire GmbH, a Germany-based developer and manufacturer of high-temperature electrolysers (SOEC) and high-temperature fuel cells (SOFC) announced July 10 that it together with a number of partners has begun engineering of an industrial-scale “Blue Crude” power-to-liquid (PtL) production facility in Norway. Sunfire recently completed endurance testing of its power-to-liquid (PtL) facility in Dresden, Germany producing over three tonnes of Blue Crude.

Nordic Blue Crude AS, a Norwegian cleantech company located in the harbour and industrial city of Porsgrunn, will operate the 20 MWe power-to-liquids plant that will have an annual production capacity of 8 000 tonnes and is expected to be operational in 2020.

The company holds the exclusive rights for operating and marketing Blue Crude production facilities and products in Norway and Sweden and already markets the synthetic crude oil substitute to vehicle, ship and aircraft manufacturers as well as to specialised chemical refineries and other customers.

Our goal is to tenfold the capacity as soon as we have enough experience from operating the first plant in its first stage of operation with 10 million litres. In the long-term, up to ten similar plants could become reality in Scandinavia. We are proud to announce that we are now a full member of the Social Stock Exchange in London. This is an important milestone in financing the plants, said Gunnar Holen, CEO of Nordic Blue Crude AS in a statement.

Nordic Blue Crude AS, Sunfire GmbH, Climeworks AG, EDL Anlagenbau GmbH and additional partners have already begun with the engineering of the PtL facility. The synthetic Blue Crude consists of various hydrocarbons – making it comparable to crude oil. Refineries can use it as raw material for waxes, but also gasoline, diesel, kerosene and rocket fuel. According to a statement, the target price is under EUR 2 per litre.

Three-phase hydropower to Blue Crude process

Blue Crude is produced using a three-stage process, developed by Sunfire and consists of a patented power-to-liquid (PtL) procedure using water, carbon dioxide (CO2) and renewable electricity – in Norway the continuously available, cost-efficient hydropower is put to use. The core element is the steam electrolysis process (SOEC) that efficiently splits steam into its components hydrogen and oxygen.

The CO2 is transformed into carbon monoxide (CO) and then the synthesis towards Blue Crude is effectuated. The gaseous CO2, employed as the carbon source, is partly extracted on-site from the ambient air by using the Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, developed by Climeworks AG.

Climeworks recently commissioned the world’s first commercial plant for atmospheric carbon capture in Switzerland. According to Sunfire, using the waste heat from the Sunfire process makes the DAC technology highly efficient.

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