Ceramic 3D printing for energy storage

As a fire bringer and teacher, Prometheus is regarded as the originator of human civilization. Although the German-Greek PROMETHEUS R&D project is not about generating fire, this PROMETHEUS is designed to supply human civilization with renewable and sustainable energy.

The goal of switching to more renewable energies presents us with the problem of security of supply. The sun does not always shine. The wind is not always strong. Energy cannot always be produced to the same extent, so new concepts for energy storage play a key role.

Energy storage is an integral part of the energy system transformation, where power-to-gas and power-to-liquid concepts are of particular importance. Excess energy can be stored in gaseous or liquid form. By means of electrolysis of CO2 and H2O, renewable energy can be converted into fuel, with which, for example, cars can be refuelled.

WZR ceramic solutions GmbH and Forschungszentrum Jülich are working on this conversion of renewable energy by means of electrolysis as German partners within the framework of the German-Greek R&D project PROMETHEUS, which is funded by the BMBF from 01. 03. 2018 – 28.02.2021.

PROMETHEUS is a contribution to security of supply

Take the harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and turn it into a universal base for fuel production and the chemical industry using regenerative electricity, in short, the goal of a group of processes known as co-electrolysis. The project will develop efficient electrochemical membrane reactors for H2O/CO2 co-electrolysis, operating from the medium to the high temperature range, using cathodic electrohydrogenation of CO2 to methanol (CH3OH), and excess renewable energy to produce methanol (CH3OH), using cathodic electrohydrogenation of CO2.

An overarching goal of the PROMETHEUS project is to develop a sustainable system with high efficiency, which is industrially feasible and in one step converts energy into chemical/material energy storage by CO2/H2O co-electrolysis, comparable to the photosynthesis of plants.

In the PROMETHEUS project new materials will be developed and tested using additive manufacturing for electrode/electrolyte production, while the development objectives are to maximise efficiency, adapt the reaction system and minimise the cost of modules consisting of electrode/electrolyte with acceptable and controllable H+/O2 flow by developing suitable material systems, low cost manufacturing processes, setting operating parameters and controlling alternating voltage states.

Contact: Dr. Wolfgang Kollenberg