The main objective of the project is demonstrating the capturing CO2 and its subsequent transformation into hydrocarbons using an innovative disruptive process technology and showing that it is both efficient and profitable.


The project will capture greenhouse gas emissions and produce synthetic fuels and/or oil products from them. These synthetic products displace fossil resources, contributing to the creation of a circular carbon economy where CO2 will be recycled. This can contribute to decreasing CO2 greenhouse gas emissions as the project technology enters into the market.


A pilot plant will be designed and built to capture and hydrogenate 800 tons of carbon dioxide per year, which equals to a 1,78% of the greenhouse gas emissions released from CELSA´s curing plant in Castellbisbal, Spain. The pilot plant will confirm the process technology performance and provide key data enabling Project replication starting with an industrial scale plant following the Project completion and designed with a processing capacity of 45,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.


The main purpose of the pilot plant is the hydrogenation of CO2, CO, PAHS, dioxins, biphenyls from the fumes from an annealing furnace of CELSA.

The fumes are previously treated in a cyclone to separate solid particles. These fumes are cooled to the temperature set by the CO2 concentration module. At this stage, the N2 is separated from the CO2 to a minimum concentration of 90%.

The CO2 concentrated together with the rest of contaminants (CO, PAHS, dioxins and biphenyls) is compressed at high pressure (more than 80 bar).

The hydrogen necessary for hydrogenation of CO2 comes from water. Water and CO2 are mixed in the hydrogenation reactor. In this reactor the chemical reactions that on the one hand produce H2 and O2 and on the other CH4 and other larger hydrocarbons occur.

The product obtained is a mixture of H2, O2, CH4 and H2O mainly that can be fed back to the annealing oven.

Project Objectives


Actions and means involved

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Implementation actions

H.E. will lead C1. Demonstrator development, C2. Control, Monitoring and Start-up and C4. Carbon Footprint assessment; and will participate actively in C3. Operation, testing and validation and C5. Replicability and Transferability. 

H.E will be responsible for designing and building the pilot plant, and will also monitor the plant and processes performance. H.E already performed the initial research and development of this innovative technology it owns the know-how and intellectual property. H.E. has the technical capability to undertake the design of the plant, the preliminary studies of process parameterization, the design of the operation tests, and the interpretation of the obtained data.

CELSA will lead the already mentioned C3 and C5 activities. CELSA melt scrap for the production of steel (more than 8 million tons of scrap per year). It changed recently from fossil fuel combustion to electric arc furnaces, reducing its total emissions in the Castellbisbal plant in more than 80%.

CELSA with put at the disposal of the project space next to a curing furnace in its facilities and emissions of approximately 150,000 tons of CO2 per year (from CH4 combustion) at the disposal of the CO2 capture process. They will also provide a by-pass from the furnace exhaust conduit to re-route part of the exhaust gas CO2 emissions and deliver it to the pilot plant designed by H.E. They will also connect the pilot plant output to inject the pilot plant product (synthetized CH4) in the furnace fuel feed lines. There is also the possibility of injecting a second product produced by the pilot plant, such as oxygen or oxyhydrogen in the oven, to improve combustion and clean emissions.

CELSA will also provide adequate personnel for the installation, operation, monitoring process and data collection.

Monitoring actions

CELSA strongly supported by H.E. will collect and analyse the performance data to complete de monitoring action.

Communication and dissemination actions

CELSA is a multinational company that has other industrial plants in Europe in which this new technology will be implemented after the successful finalisation of the project. Moreover CELSA will support H.E. to develop activities (events, seminars, showrooms) to promote the replication and transferability of the technology.

Project management

CELSA will coordinate the project with the support of H.E.

Expected results

In accordance to the project objective, LIFE CO2 TO FUEL will produce the following concrete outcomes:

  • Demonstration of a pilot plant that captures CO2 and converts it into CH4 via hydrogenation.

  • Cost-effective production of hydrogen using a new catalytic hydrothermal process that produces oxyhydrogen already in TRL4.

  • Validation tests with 800 tons of carbon dioxide per year (one year of validation)

  • Environmental quantification and validation

  • Development of dissemination actions to assure and reinforme replicability and transferability.

The LIFE+ programme


LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3954 projects, contributing approximately €3.1 billion to the protection of the environment (source: website, 27/02/2014).


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