After two years of a fully virtual conference due to the Corona pandemic the nova institute opened again the doors of the Maternushaus in Cologne. Over two days, leading and emerging companies, research institutions, and policy makers presented their latest progress in bringing the spirit of the to life.
The first day of the hybrid conference focused on the framework conditions of CO2 utilisation as feedstock in a circular economy, on the production of green hydrogen, and on the analysis of economic and environmental aspects of CCU technologies. The stage was finally set for granting the annual innovation award on “Best CO2 Utilisation 2022”. Six nominees pitched their ideas and concepts on the innovative conversion of CO2 by chemical, electrochemical, or biotechnological processes. The winners were elected by the participants of the conference. The first prize went to CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technologies (USA) for their CleanO2 Soap, binding local waste CO2 from flues of natural gas in a sustainable personal care product. The second winner was Avecom (BE) with their Power-To-Protein production, providing a CO2-based, protein-rich food ingredient. The third winner was a consortium of Fraunhofer IGB, MPI Marburg and TUM Campus Straubing (DE). They presented the eBioCO2n Technology that enables the selective incorporation of CO2 into highly complex molecules by the help of a bio-inspired, energy-driven system. Celebrating the winners of the award, meeting partners and friends and making new contacts, the participants enjoyed the conference dinner at the evening of the first conference day.
The second day was opened with a session on CCU technologies, underlining the importance of Power-to-X concepts for future process developments. Exemplary technologies were presented for Power-to-Chemicals and Power-to-Fuels approaches, building a bridge to biotechnological CCU technologies. In the last session of the conference, the outcome of the BioCOnversion project was presented by CLIB (Markus Müller and Sarah Refai) to the scientific and industrial community. The CLIB-coordinated project ended last year and the final conceptual design will be developed further in a follow-up project.