A new innovation project will demonstrate large-scale conversion of industrial carbon emissions into value-added chemicals and materials.

The project, conducted by a consortium of 20 leading industrial and research partners from 11 countries, aims to demonstrate a new path to create value from industrial CO2 emissions while improving the sustainability of the chemical industry in Europe. The European Commission funds PyroCO2 with 40 million euros in support of the European Green Deal, the plan to make the EU's economy sustainable and climate-neutral by 2050.

  • "We are excited to finally start our ambitious work that aims to be a gamechanger for European carbon-intensive industries. These will be able to create valuable products from their CO2 emissions, meeting the need for a lower carbon footprint while maintaining their competitiveness and being a part of the solution for the climate." says Senior Research Scientist Alexander Wentzel at SINTEF, the independent Norwegian research institute that coordinates the project.
  • According to Francesca Di Bartolomeo, Research Manager of the SINTEF group of Sustainable Biotechnologies and Bioprospecting "Our ambition is to establish PyroCO2 as a lighthouse for innovative Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) technologies that can benefit equally the European industries, citizens, and the environment, on the path to a climate-neutral Europe with global impact."
  • According to Barbara Morico, PyroCO2 Project Manager, NextChem “We as NextChem are happy to participate, through the engineering of the demo plant, in a project that both captures CO2 and creates added value and new products. The recovery of CO2 is something the industry is looking into with great interest, says Barbara Morico, NextChem’s project manager for PyroCO2 .”

The scope of PyroCO2 is to establish and demonstrate an innovative platform for CCU that turns industrial CO2 into chemical building-blocks using a new biotechnological approach. These are then converted further catalytically into a wide range of products, including other value-added chemicals (such as components for paints and plastic), synthetic fuels, as well as recyclable or biodegradable materials normally produced from fossil hydrocarbons.

The aim of this 5-year project with a total budget of 44 million euros is to build and operate a facility capable of capturing 10,000 tonnes of industrial CO2 per year, an equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from 2,200 cars, and use it to produce chemicals.

The PyroCO2 factory will be located at the industrial cluster of Herøya Industrial Park in Porsgrunn, Norway, featuring several carbon-intensive industries. Here, the PyroCO2 process will benefit from close to 100% renewable electricity and complement ongoing large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) efforts in Norway. Once successfully demonstrated, replication and further upscaling is envisioned throughout Europe and beyond.

  • "The PyroCO2 project is an excellent opportunity to bring together technologies developed across Europe to make sustainable solutions to industrial CO2 emissions. CCU technologies are very promising, and the project will provide much needed information on scaling up such processes. This project will advance the CO2 mitigating technologies developed at universities and companies, which will directly benefit the environment", says Professor Alex Toftgaard Nielsen from DTU Biosustain, part of the Technical University of Denmark.
  • Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen, CEO of SecondCircle adds: "Our society needs technology to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from the industry and to produce our daily-used chemicals sustainably. The PyroCO2 project scales-up CCU technologies in a consortium with both industry and academic partners. Collaborations between academia and industry will accelerate the development and commercializing true sustainable technology."

The PyroCO2 project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037009.


Alexander Wentzel, alexander.wentzel@sintef.no
Francesca Di Bartolomeo, francesca.dibartolomeo@sintef.no
Alex Toftgaard Nielsen, atn@biosustain.dtu.dk
Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen, tj@secondcircle.bio

About the project

  • PyroCO2 is a 5-years Innovation Action project in support of the European Green Deal
  • Aim: Design, build, and operate a production facility capable of demonstrating chemical production from close to 10,000 tonnes of industrial CO2 per year
  • Project period: 1. Oct. 2021 to 30. Sep. 2026
  • Budget: close to 44 million EUROS, of which 40 million euros EC funding
  • Partners: SINTEF (coordinator, NO), SecondCircle (DK), Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DK), Arkema France (FR), Le Centre National De la Recherce Scientifique (FR), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (DE), Ciaotech SRL (IT), Axelera (FR), Firmenich SA (CH), NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS (NO), Herøya Industripark (NO), Chalmers Tekniska Hoegskola (SE), Bioprocess Technology (ES), Norner Research (NO), SCG Chemicals (TH), Johnson-Matthey PLC (UK), Ranido S.R.O. (CZ), NextChem SPA (IT), Ecoinnovazione SRL (IT), Vestfold og Telemark Fylkeskommune (NO)
  • Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037009.