What is Power-to-X?

Power-to-X (PtX or P2X) is the process of converting electricity from sustainable sources to chemicals, for instant hydrogen or other green fuels, such as methanol, jet fuel/kerosene, or ammonia, which can be used for propulsion, fertilisers, or production industry.

First part of the process is called electrolysis, where an electric current is conduced through water, which splits it into two elements: oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen can be used for propulsion fuels or as an energy source for some industries, but can also be refined for other fuels.

Many refined green fuel products require the addition of carbon (CO2) to obtain sufficient energy density. This is for instance the case of methanol and green aviation fuels.

The process of carbon capture also requires sustainable sourcing methods, which is solved by capturing surplus carbon from bio-waste energy production, residuals from farming or forest industry, wastewater treatment plant, production industry and so forth.

Refining ammonia for propulsion or fertiliser purposes requires the addition of nitrogen to hydrogen, available in the atmosphere.

Large scale electrolysis requires an enormous supply of sustainable wind and solar power. Electrolysis and other potential PtX-processes are technologies, which convert green electrons to green molecules. These processes enable wind and solar energy to be stored at hours of the day where the consumer demand is low, and the energy would otherwise go to waste. In this way, we are able to use green energy in molecular form in sectors and for purposes where electricity does not suffice as a realistic alternative to fossil fuels.

PtX-technologies are essential in a sustainable society, and it is meaningful to expand the potential, especially in a country such as Denmark. The wind and solar energy production technology is efficiently developed, and cooperation between businesses enables use of energy flows across business sectors.

For instance, many of the PtX-processes emit excess heat, which can be used in district heating systems. A new, green energy production eco-system in the Triangle Area incorporates a long value chain of synergies.

“Fossile” infrastructure

For centuries, our energy- and transportation infrastructure was developed to support an economy based on fossil fuels, which are cheap, accessible, and have high energy density. In the 1960s the Shell Refinery was established in Fredericia at a time in history when oil companies placed refineries closer to the consumers than to oil sources. Today and in the future we are able to use the existing fossil fuel infrastructure to store sustainable electricity in green fuels distributed in gas- and highway transportation grids to supply a rising Danish and German market. Some day we may see the need for a hydrogen infrastructure similar to the current gas grid.

In many ways, we aim to continually further sensible values of cross-sector synergies, which allows us to use and streamline the value chain of existing resources. The necessary sectors and specialised companies that can carry this potential through are already strongly represented in the Triangle Area.

At a building site next to the Crossbridge Energy refinery in Fredericia, a new 20 MW electrolysis facility is being established by Everfuel. The facility will be in operation in 2022, and is the largest in Europe, but is also developed with partner synergies between Crossbridge Energy Fredericia and the district heating transmission company, TVIS, among others,

By 2025, the plan is to upscale the facilities to 300 MW, and hopefully 1 GW by 2030. The refinery will be the primary consumer of green hydrogen, and the existing infrastructure has the potential to undergo a transition from refining fossil fuels to converting green electricity to liquid green fuels. The possibilities for distribution are plenty as the Triangle Area is a highway cargo junction, and the entirety of Denmark.

Triangle Area advantages

  • Ørsted’s wood chip heat and power plant in Fredericia, Energnist’s waste to heat and power plant in Kolding, and Nature Energy’s biogas-facilities in Holsted offers access to several sources of concentrated, green carbon, which is essentiel in the production of methanol and green aviation fuels, for instance.
  • Crossbridge Energy Refinery in Fredericia offers decades of production and sales expertise of liquid fuels and new owners envision the worlds first sustainable refinery. Their capacity is especially essential in the large scale production of sustainable aviation fuels.
  • Shipping and harbour facilities in the Triangle Area are dedicated to the handling of goods such as complex, propulsion fuels and the production raw materials.
  • An existing gas transmission pipeline connects the Triangle Area with the German market, which could be used to meet a potential increased demand for hydrogen for steel production industry, refineries, and medical industry.
  • TVIS owns and oversees a vast reaching heat transmission grid that supplies four municipalities with district heating, which can utilize excess heat from energy production facilities, which in turn decreases costs for production cooling.
  • The Triangle Area has a logistical position of strength with intermodal cargo terminals in Fredericia-Taulov and a large representation of transportation sector businesses, who wishes to contribute to demonstration projects of sustainable fuels, for instance other Billund Airport
  • The Triangle Area has the capacity for large scale solar power projects, which is essential in a new, sustainable energy system.
  • The Danish Hydrogen and PtX business sector can create up to 53.000 jobs through the value chain, according to Hydrogen Denmark.