20 Jul 2023 About INITIATE

Our First Successful Summer School: A Short Summary

At the end of last week, we successfully completed our Summer School “Technology and Sustainability modelling for net-zero industries”, co-organised by the INITIATE project and Radboud University, in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano, CO2 Value Europe, TNO and Stamicarbon at Radboud University in Nijmegen (NL).

The Summer School saw the participation of 35 PhDs, MASc students and young professionals from top universities and companies across Europe alternating in a wide range of lessons and performing several work group exercises under the supervision of our amazing teachers.

Day one started with our Keynote speaker Federico Benito Donà from EUROFER showing the policy, economic and environmental targets related to the decarbonisation of the the iron and steel industry. In the afternoon, our Project Coordinator Eric van Dijk from our project partner TNO presented the INITIATE technology and Giampaolo Manzolini from our project partner Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) gave a presentation on the benefits and the challenges linked to carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

On the second day, the participants were introduced by Leonie Lücking from TNO to the energy models that represent CCU as a decarbonisation solution to identify knowledge and modelling gaps and by Giampaolo Manzolini and Nicola Zecca from POLIMI to systematic techno-economic assessment (TEA) of CCU technologies.

During the work group exercise “TEA How to perform the techno-economic assessment?” the participants performed the TEA of the hydrogen production from three different gas streams in order to find the values of three design parameters that minimise the cost of CO2 avoided (SEWGS working pressure - SEWGS CCR 90%, 93% 95% - SEWGS steam to carbon ratio 1.5, 2.0, 2.5)

Day three focused on the application of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to assess the environmental performance of products production and consumption, as well as the drive towards decarbonisation of the industry with the need for clean fertiliser, fuel and energy thanks to Rosalie van Zelm and Joey Dobrée from our project partners Radboud University and Stamicarbon. The students were also introduced to Stamicarbon's green ammonia technology and the LCA of different ammonia production by Rolf Postma and Tessa Brouwers.

During the work group exercise “How to perform the life cycle assessment?” the participants had the chance to go through all the steps of performing an LCA. Based on their results from the TEA, they investigated specific use cases of the CO2 and H2-rich streams coming from SEWGS to assess the environmental impact and identify hotspots of the case studies by going through the four phases of LCA (goal and scope, life cycle inventory, life cycle impact assessment and interpretation).

Day four was spent by the participants combining their findings from technological, economic and environmental assessments, resulting in the drafting of specific recommendations that were presented by each group at the end of the day.

On the final day, Timo Gerres from Universidad Pontificia Comillas offered the participants a deep-dive into the current industrial policy framework in the EU, including a discussion of the Green Deal for Industry, the European emission trading system (EU ETS), CBAM, the Innovation Fund, CCfDs, Ecodesign and CCS Directives. The lecture also explored the challenges linked to CCU and CCS applications in the industry.

The last assignment brought together all the findings and discussions of the past week to explore the policy dimension of CCU and CCS applications in the European contest. Each group was assigned one of the three countries studied for the previous exercises and tasked to assess the policy landscape in their target country.

On the last day, the participants also presented their findings to each other to find the best options to use the SEWGS technology.

This Summer School was certainly a success thanks to our extraordinary teachers, organisers and participants and it is a strong incentive for the INITIATE consortium to continue organising high-level events to support the dissemination of our INITIATE route and the implementation of circular economy and industrial symbiosis.