Innovation is a key aspect in North-CCU-Hub. The implementation of the North-C-Methanol project will provide a perfect backbone for the upscaling of innovative technologies enabling even more and beter carbon capture and utilization in the North Sea Port region. The innovation trajectory is coordinated by the local knowledge institutes Ghent University, CAPTURE and Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant and supported by the spearhead clusters Catalisti and Flux50.

Several innovation vehicles for innovation in sustainability technologies have been founded recently. North-CCU-Hub and its partners are doing and planning different innovations in parallel, using these different channels.

Innovations opportunities are present at different points of the CCU value chain:

  • Pre-conversion innovations include the generation of green hydrogen and capture of CO2
  • Conversion innovations include different (bio)chemical technologies for conversion to methanol, other chemical building blocks (e.g. formic acid, ethanol) or directly to higher added value products
  • Post conversion innovations include the upgrading of chemical building blocks to higher added value chemicals and innovative applications of green methanol.

Ongoing and planned innovations

Pre-conversion innovations

  • VORTEX technology : process intensification of CO2 capture by ad/absorption technologies (UGent, Moonshot project CAPTIN)
  • SUPER-DRY REFORMING : pre-conversion of CO2 to CO
  • Increase of the efficiency of the electrolysis process

Conversion innovations

Conversion to alternative building blocks (ethanol, formic acid, acetate) and/or directly to higher added value products (proteins, fatty acids, fuels,…):

  • Carbon4PUR : synthesis of polyurethanes from CO/CO2 mixtures in off-gases (UGent – ArcelorMittal, H2020 project)
  • CAPRA: fermentation of syngas (CO + H2) to ethanol, and further conversion of ethanol to C6-C8-rich oils (UGent – ArcelorMittal, Catalisti project)
  • CO2PERATE: formate syntesis routes and fermentative conversion, and added value products from formate e.g. single cell protein (UGent and BBEPP project)
  • BioSferA : BIOfuels production from Syngas FERmentation for Aviation and maritime use (BBEPP, H2020 project)
  • BIOCON-CO2: BIOtechnological processes based on microbial platforms for the CONversion of CO2 from the iron and steel industry into commodities for chemicals and plastics (BBEPP – Engie – ArcelorMittal, H2020 project)
  • AMARANTHUS 1+ 2 + 3: Conversion of CO/H2 into value added chemicals (acetate, ethanol, isobutene): BBEPP subcontractor in French ADEME and Dutch ISPT financed research, respectively.

Post-conversion innovations

  • Application of methanol or methanol derivatives as green fuels:
    • LeanSHIPS : green methanol as alternative for fossil fuels, especially for ships and heavy transport (UGent, H2020 project)
    • FASTWATER : engine development for maritime e-fuels (UGent – Anglo Belgian Corporation, H2020 project)
  • Upgrading of methanol and other building blocks to higher added value products: this is included in projects mentioned above (e.g. CO2PERATE, BIOCON-CO2). In addition, UGent and BBEPP have submitted and will in the near future submit jointly several projects on the conversion of CCU intermediates like methanol to higher added value products like proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, bioplastics, … These can have a wide variety of applications in several sectors (food, feed, transport, materials,…)

Innovative Stories

Microbial Protein: a promising and sustainable food and feed ingredient

Food production has a huge impact on the environment. Protein production via animals – meat – has a huge footprint in terms of CO2 emissions as well as land and ...
/ Innovative stories

Gas Fermentation: CO2 and CO as feedstock for high value compounds

For almost a decade, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is collaborating with Arcelor Mittal on the development of sustainable fermentation processes that can convert industrial steel mill gases into added ...
/ Innovative stories

CO2 as feedstock for the production of biodegradable plastics (PHA)

More than 5 million tons of plastic ends up in the sea every year. In addition, the emissions that are released during the petrochemical plastic production process are also polluting ...
/ Innovative stories

Methanol, an excellent alternative fuel for sustainable shipping

For several years, researchers of the Transport Technology group at Ghent University have collaborated with the engineers of ABC Engines to investigate alternative fuels for the maritime sector. Based on ...
/ Innovative stories

Super-Dry Reforming: a champion technology for CO2 conversion

Following a chemical looping approach, scientists from the Laboratory for Chemical Technology at Ghent University have pioneered the development of an intensified process for efficient CO2 conversion: Super-Dry Reforming (SDR) ...
/ Innovative stories


Simon De Corte

Ghent University

+32 472 395580

Jan Arends


+32 495 779410

Katrien Molders

BioBase Europe Pilot Plant

+32 486 951109

Hendrik Waegeman

BioBase Europe Pilot Plant

+32 479 562061