Innovative solutions are needed for climate protection, and many of them come from NRW. For example, from the Essen-based startup Greenlyte Carbon Technologies (GCT), established as a spin-out of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). The founders Florian Hildebrand, Dr. Peter Matthias Behr and Dr. Niklas Friederichsen are transferring research results from the UDE and using them to develop a new method in the Ruhr Metropolis that separates carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The company has found a way to filter CO2 from the air with a kind of sucker. But "sucking up" CO2 is not the only advantage of the new Greenlyte method. In a further step, the CO2 separated from the air can be converted via alkaline water electrolysis into hydrogen and carbon, which can then be used as alternatives to fossil fuels in chemical production and as aircraft fuel. GCT claims to be four to five times faster than comparable technologies.
International investors have also recognized the potential of the Greenlyte invention and provided around 3.5 million US dollars in an initial, successful round of investment. Following its establishment in 2022, a pilot plant will be built as early as this year, which is expected to go into operation by the end of the year and capture over 100,000 kilograms of CO2 from the air per annum. The volume is then expected to increase to one gigaton per year by 2050.