Development of pilot plant for production of formic acid from CO2 has started

The formal go-ahead was given on 21 February for the development of a pilot plant that will create formic acid by converting the CO2 created through energy generation from waste. Twence is collaborating on this project with Coval Energy, TNO and Delft University of Technology. The project had its kick-off in Delft, where tests are already underway with a trial setup made in the run up to the project.


In November 2017 Twence signed a letter of intent with technology developer Coval Energy from Breda to work together on investigating the development of fuels from CO2. We want to jointly develop and build a pilot plant to produce the ‘green fuel’ formic acid. The plant is intended to be in production by 2020. The plant will be powered in the first instance by CO2 which is already available at Twence from the existing sodium bicarbonate plant.

Coval Energy develops technology for making formic acid directly from CO2 and water. Formic acid has an extremely high energy density – much higher than the customary battery technology – and can be used to generate electricity in the fuel cells of vehicles. The use of formic acid will therefore increase the range of electric vehicles considerably. In the chemical industry, CO2 and formic acid have the potential as green raw materials to replace fossil raw materials. Coval Energy’s technology has been developed to the point where the step from laboratory plant to industrial pilot is now possible.