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Climate award for synthesis gas
A special purpose project company founded by Fels-Werke GmbH from Goslar in Germany has won the Innovation Award for Climate and Environment for a process that uses lime to produce pure synthesis gas from pollutant-rich waste and biomass. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology provided 4.5 million euros of support for this project. Since 2009, this award has been honouring concepts from Germany that contribute to climate and environmental protection and, at the same time, strengthen the country as a business location.
The innovative feature of this process is that a variety of carbonaceous materials can be converted into synthesis gas at high temperatures in the presence of lime in a counter-current gasifier. Lime acts as a carrier material here and also binds pollutant substances. As a result, this process ensures that no organic pollutants such as dioxins and furans are produced. These substances are inevitably produced in other conventional combustion processes in other methods, which in turn means that a costly flue gas purification step is necessary.
The Fels-Werke project won its award in the “Process innovations for climate protection” category. The equipment, which was developed as part of the Ecoloop project, could be added to various industrial processes in the future, thus reducing the consumption of fossil resources and saving on CO2 emissions. The expertise possessed by Fels-Werke concerning combustion processes in shaft furnaces and lime production provides the foundation for the further development of this next-generation technology. For this reason, the special purpose project company constructed the first large-scale plant at a lime works in the municipality of Oberharz am Brocken in the Harz Mountains. The high-purity synthesis gas can be used here as a valuable energy source. The Ecoloop technology involves an innovative counter-current gasifier with a looped moving reaction bed, all of which is installed upstream of energy-intensive industrial processes.
Four awards from German environment ministry and industrial federation
With their Innovation Award for Climate and Environment, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) acknowledge technology concepts that help to protect the climate and the environment. This is the third time that the organisers have recognised the commitment shown by industry and research to climate and environmental protection by awarding this honour. With the support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s climate protection initiative, the 2011 Innovation Award was awarded in a total of four categories, each with a prize of 25,000 euros. Further information on award-winners and application documents for the next series of awards can be found at www.iku-innovationspreis.de (German only).