Seaweed and CO<sub>2</sub> are a very good combination

160 students from the Bonhoeffer College of Science and Technology (Technasium) have come up with new applications for capturing Twence’s CO2. Twence wants to use the captured CO2 on a large scale as a raw material on the market. The ‘whizz-kids’ contributed their ideas, for example, combining CO2 with seaweed, oil extraction and ocean cleanups.

CO2 toekomst

As process technologists, they spent weeks thinking up new markets and applications for CO2. Rather difficult subject-matter for these first-year senior general secondary education/pre-university education students. You are faced with a chemical process, a highly complex product and you must understand how to close cycles. “A most difficult, but also a most enjoyable assignment,” said one of the students in the transition class. The young men and women at Bonhoeffer surprised Twence with a number of refreshing ideas. The assignment’s key focus was on experimenting and contributing ideas.

CO2 capture
Twence aims to capture CO2 on a large scale from the flue gases produced by the energy from waste plant and make it suitable for beneficial use. The company has been doing this for many years on a small scale and reuses the CO2 as a raw material in its own flue gas scrubbers. There is a growing demand for CO2 for various beneficial applications, such as in the glasshouse horticulture sector for example. CO2 therefore offers opportunities.

During a final presentation the students presented the results of their efforts. A number of students even went as far as doing some research with limited resources by conducting a number of tests. According to the whizz-kids, CO2 is highly suitable for use in sustainable applications:

  • Seaweed grows 10x faster than plants on land. You can use CO2 to stimulate the growth of seaweed as a means of accelerating the cultivation of nutrients (protein).
  • In addition, seaweed can be used for extracting oil and producing plastic.
  • And, did you know that if you are able to float a straw on cola because of the CO2 bubbles, you can also let plastic waste float using the same principle? Result: a simple solution for fishing plastic out of the ocean.
  • The sea was not the only source of inspiration for the project teams. CO2 can be combined with hydrogen to develop a fuel.
  • The students also conducted some tests designed to produce even more CO2 by dissolving chalk in acid.

The future
Where most companies are purely engaged in CO2 storage, these young students instead thought about closing the cycle; the use of CO2 as a raw material. The Twence engineers will incorporate their refreshing ideas into their future plans. We have every reason to be proud and happy that there is so much knowledge to be found in the region!