Zero Emission Fuels

We make zero emission methanol from sunlight and air. In order to succeed we combine several fields

solar dessert

1. Energy from the sun

We use a solar pane with a power of approximately 300 W which converts the solar irradiation to electrical energy.
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2. CO2 captured from air

Air is continuously fanned through our direct air capture unit. After the capture material is saturated with CO2 and water the final process starts.
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Hydrogen water

3. Hydrogen from water

Our alkaline electrolysis cell splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released to the air again and the hydrogen is used as feedstock in the methanol synthesis.
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Methanol Lab

4. Methanol synthesis

The main functio of the methanol synthesis subsystem is to convert the hydrogen and CO2 into a mixture of methanol and water using a small scale reactor.
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Control system

5. Control System

The methanol production unit is heavily influenced by external factors such as the intensity of the sun, proximity of clouds and air humidity. The control unit processes all data from subsystems and then sends signals to the actuators in order to control the whole process.
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Lab on plate

6. Novel Piping Approach

All of the “pipingwork” of the chemical process will be simplified based on a novel system/component. Its main function is to transfer fluids from one unit-process to another, and transfer heat to other fluids or to the surroundings (cooling). It is the component that connects all unit processes and therefore forms the “backbone” of the plant.
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Heat pipe

7. On plate distillation

One of the major challenges of the methanol production system is reaching a sufficient methanol quality: methanol grade AA. Using a conventional distillation column would have a negative effect on the energy balance and investment cost of the system. Therefore the principle of a heatpipe is used in order to do on plate distillation.
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Microfluidic pump 2

8. Fluid Machinery

Several subsystems contain fluid handling machinery: Pumps, compressors, valves etc. These components require special care, as they probably will not be available on the scale of the plant, without modification. These components must be designed for: high efficiency, long lifetime, corrosion/fouling resistance, low cost manufacturing. Each part in the system has different demands when it comes to pressure, composition & temperature.
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Join team ZEF: we challenge you!

Team ZEF has decided to create a challenge: Design and build a system that can produce >100 g zero emission methanol per day using energy from the sun (300 W PV-system) and CO2 and water directly from air before the 1st of January 2018.

Why You Should Join


Dreamteam Experience

Almost graduated, but never had the Delft Dream Team experience? This is your chance to work in a similar environment and apply your knowledge to something relevant.


Relevant Challenge

Do we really need to build another car or boat? The challenges we face as society are much bigger than that! Work on something which is extremely relevant and challenging.


Topnotch Team

This is a highly ambitious project, therefore the team members need to be highly motivated and talented. Your team will be the best and brightest, dare to apply?

Let's meet!

This is your opportunity to join an epic adventure and it all starts with a cup of coffee. Apply now and meet with us to have a chat about the possibilities.

Let's meet!