Power to X
No, this has nothing to do with lottery.
Or perhaps this could just be the lottery win many industries need right now in the context of decarbonization.
Let me explain.
Almost from nowhere, and in no time, the term Power to X seems to be everywhere within the cleantech ecosystem.
Power-to-X refers to the pathway where zero-carbon renewable power can produce zero carbon or low carbon fuels and chemicals, in addition to the zero or low carbon electricity & heating that it already provides.
How is this possible? Surely electrons are not liquid fuels that we can drop into our fuel tanks?
Not directly. But by using electricity to power electrochemical reactions that can convert a range of carbon and hydrogen sources to hydrocarbon fuels, chemicals and materials, you get Power to X, where X stands for a range of hydrocarbon end products.
Simplistically, Power to X is: Power -> Carbon+Hydrogen -> X
In the decarbonization context: CO2 emissions + zero carbon hydrogen -> zero carbon conversion processes -> net zero carbon hydrocarbon products (if you wish to be strictly precise, low carbon hydrocarbon products)
An exciting example is the use of CO2 as an ingredient to make fuels through this pathway. Take CO2 (say, emitted from a coal power plant) on one hand, and green hydrogen produced from electrolysis using zero carbon power on the other. Combine the two, identify the right catalyst, and again apply zero carbon electricity to drive the chemical reactions, and you can produce a range of chemicals, fuels and materials.
All along the way, no CO2 emitted, and only carbon emissions captured for use. You get your gasoline or diesel or aviation fuel or plastics. Your car or truck or airplane can run just as usual, with no modifications, but with a fuel that is net zero carbon within its value chain boundary, because it gives out CO2 that had been captured – and which would otherwise been released to the atmosphere.
Automakers especially are excited. And why wouldn’t they be, I ask you, if they can continue producing cars and trucks and two wheelers for low carbon transport without having to change a thing in their manufacturing set up? The global auto industry revenues are about $2 trillion a year, and taking average industry asset turnover ratios, their fixed assets could be worth well over five times that much!
(Image source: Turbomachinery Mag – https://lnkd.in/dAfyS54s )
See my LinkedIn post on this topic