Zero Emission Fuel (ZEF)

About ZEF

What we do?

ZEF develops a small scale chemical factory (the micro-plant) which converts CO2 from air into methanol. This renewable methanol can be used as a fuel or as feedstock in the chemical industry. Each micro-plant is roughly the size of a coffee machine and will be fully powered by three solar panels.

Why this approach?

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. How we will reach scale? 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.

What makes ZEF different?

1. Unlike other companies active in this field, ZEF combines three processes into one compact system. The processes are: CO2 direct air capture, hydrogen production using the alkaline electrolysis process and production of methanol through a thermo-catalytic process.

2. ZEF produces its own electricity from solar energy and couples its system directly to the solar panel. This eliminates the need for certain power electronic components, enabling cost reductions which are not attainable if electricity from the grid would be used.

3. ZEF focusses on developing a chemical factory as a product in contrast to the traditional method of developing a chemical factory as a project. By focusing on (product) development for mass manufacturing ZEF can tap into different industries where certain components are already produced in large quantities. This method makes it possible to aim for a very low cost price.

Inspiring the future generations!

ZEF collaborates with several organizations such as TNO and TU Delft. In addition ZEF offers young talented students the opportunity to gain experience by doing an internship or graduation project. These projects run for a period of 3, 6 or 9 months and can both be internship or graduation projects. In addition ZEF is located in the middle of the TU Delft campus (Process & Energy lab of the TU Delft). Please check out which is the website specifically for students who are looking for a thesis or internship project at ZEF. In addition you can always contact for more information or to plan a meeting.