CO2 capture from air for fuel synthesis using existing power plant infrastructure

  Overview picture of the project ConTACtFuels Copyright: © IKDG


Picture of Robert Sager © Copyright: IKDG


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Significant negative emissions will be indispensable for successfully combating global warming in the coming decades. In addition to the use of biological CO2 sinks (reforestation), direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 from the ambient air is also relevant in a large number of future scenarios.

Due to the low CO2 concentration in the air, large volume flows are required. Due to the necessary quantities of captured CO2 resulting from the climate targets, well scalable, cost- and space-efficient technologies are therefore required. Thermal power plant components, and cooling towers in particular, fulfill some of the requirements for DAC plant components in this regard. As more and more of the classical thermal power plants are shut down in the coming years, they offer the possibility to be further used as part of a DAC plant.

The use of existing power plant components for DAC plants offer the potential to realize CO2 capture from air on a megaton per year scale.



The working group "Process Analysis and Systems" of the Institute of Power Plant Technology, Steam and Gas Turbines investigates the potential of using cooling towers of thermal power plants as well as other existing components and infrastructures at power plant sites in direct air capture plants. Furthermore, downstream processes such as CO2 compression and synthesis of renewable fuels will be included in this consideration.

The techno-economic potential shall be investigated and evaluated in a model-based feasibility study. In particular, synergies from waste heat integration from downstream processes are to be included in the selection of suitable concepts. By supporting the participating companies, the technical integration of the plant concepts is to be ensured and the validation of partial models is to be realized.



This project is carried out within the framework of the call "Regenerative Fuels" and is financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV) over a period of 2 years.


Project Partners

  1. RWE Power AG
  2. Neocarbon