What we do?

ZEF (Zero Emission Fuels) develops a small scale chemical factory (the micro-plant) that converts CO2 from the air into methanol. This renewable methanol can either be used as a fuel or as feedstock in the chemical industry. Each micro-plant is the size of a coffee machine and will be fully powered by three solar panels.
By building a small unit, mass production technologies become an option, development costs stay low while handling and testing the product remains manageable.  Consequently, large numbers of units can be produced at low cost, driving down the price of renewable methanol to competitive levels.
The ultimate aim of ZEF is to install large numbers of micro-plants in solar-to-methanol-farms thereby producing large quantities of cost competitive methanol

ZEF: A combination of entrepreneurs, experts and students

Three experienced entrepreneurs supported by numerous top experts form the core of ZEF. These experts work at research organizations such as TU Delft, TNO and University of Twente, and companies such as Nouryon, Promolding and NPK. In addition over 200 talented students have participated in the ZEF project. From the start, ZEF had the aim to funnel talented students into this field. These students study at educational institutions such as TU Delft, Haagse Hogeschool, Leidse Instrumentmakers School, Twente University and Groningen University and more (MBO, HBO & University level). ZEF works in development cycles of 3-6 months. During each cycle, new subteams of students (internships & graduation projects) work on the systems such as direct air capture, electrolysis, methanol synthesis, distillation, pumps/compressors and simulations.

Project areas

ZEF has projects available all year round in one of the following topics:

  • CO2 capture from the air: selection of suitable sorbents for CO2 capture, development and testing of a CO2 absorption and desorption column.
  • Hydrogen production: development of a suitable electrode coating for alkaline electrolysis, development and testing of an electrolysis stack with all balance of plant components.
  • CO2 compression: development of a CO2 compression system capable of compression CO2 from 1 to 50 bar (including pre-and post-treatment systems).
  • Methanol production: development of a methanol reactor suitable for converting the captured CO2 and water into methanol.
  • Distillation: development of a distillation column that can be used to separate the methanol and water.

The specific project is selected in consultation taking into account your skills, interests and background. Skills you will develop (depending on your project): modelling, experimental work, sourcing, system design, back of the envelope calculations, 3D CAD modelling, Arduino and a lot more!

Join team ZEF now!

Several vacancies are available for both internships (3, 6 or 9 months) and thesis projects all year round. Starting times are determined together. If you want to work on something meaningful that will be implemented in real life you can visit students.zeroemissionfuels.com and apply. If you have any questions you can contact students@zeroemissionfuels.com.