SPIRE-08-2017: Carbon dioxide utilisation to produce added value chemicals

Main pillar: 

  • Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology


80 000 000



Call deadline: 

Thu, 19 Jan 2017


  • Forthcoming


Specific Challenge:

CO2 represents an alternative, abundant and valuable source of carbon which could be a suitable raw material, and its utilization has the potential to contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thereby unwanted climate change effects. In addition, the utilisation of CO2 (and CO) as a feedstock by the European process industry to produce materials, chemicals and fuels could be a key solution to reduce the dependence on imports of fossil resources while providing a secure of supply of carbon feedstock.

The chemical industry is still largely based on the use of fossil fuels and feedstock as source of carbon, but a decrease is necessary in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The utilisation of CO2 (and CO) to produce added value chemicals may represent a viable opportunity. While there are still significant scientific technological challenges to be solved in order to exploit the CO2 (and CO) as a carbon source in a more systematic manner, there have already been concepts demonstrated at lab scale, which could provide possible solutions if properly scaled up. Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of such CO2 (and CO) utilisation technologies to produce added value products at larger scale, in an operational environment, to be able to assess the industrial potential of such technologies.


Proposals should address innovative chemical (e.g. catalytic) processes to produce added value chemicals from CO2 (and CO) and demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility in an industrially relevant environment through demonstration of a system prototype. Technologies targeting conversion of CO2 (and CO) to short chain alcohols, dimethyl ether and fuels are considered outside the scope of this topic.

The topic focuses on the conversion of CO2 (and CO) to chemicals, possibly including chemicals with other components beyond C, H and O (such as N), in an integrated approach and therefore, the proposals need to consider the following elements:

  • CO2 (and CO) should come preferably from industrial flue and process gases from the process industries e.g., cement, steel and other energy intensive industries
  • CO2 (and CO) purification and conditioning methods to bring the gas to a sufficient quality for efficient conversion into chemicals.
  • The testing of a system prototype should be integrated with process modelling and life cycle assessment in order to quantify the processes in terms of resource intensity reduction as well as reduction of emissions.
  • The quality of the products obtained should relate to the specifications requested by the market.
  • The project should contain an analysis of the economic feasibility and impact, and the evaluation of the market potential, and benefit on the European competiveness deriving from the introduction of the new process.
  • An analysis of the environmental and social benefits.

Proposals should involve industries in a clear leadership role.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 4 to 6. This topic addresses cross-KET activities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Demonstrate technical and economic feasibility in the relevant environment of novel processes for CO2 and CO conversion to added-value chemicals.
  • Reduction of at least 20%, on Life-Cycle-Assessment basis, of the emissions of greenhouse gases and energy/resource intensity with respect to commercial manufacturing of the same product. The impact on greenhouse emissions will be an important element of the evaluation.
  • Significant increase of the industrial competiveness deriving from the adoption of the novel processes of conversion of CO2 and CO to added-value chemicals.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of the Work Programme.

Call documents: