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Mobile Synthesis Unit

Mobile solution for bench scale process development

VTT Mobile Synthesis Unit

Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is a key topic for mitigation of CO2 emissions. There are many different technologies that are applied for the production of diverse chemicals from CO2 such as synthetic natural gas, Fischer-Tropsch products, methanol and polymers. Power-to-Gas and Power-to-Liquids concepts arise as a synergetic solution for storing energy and producing value added products from the intermittent renewable energy sources and CCU.

VTT has extensive experience in piloting and upscaling of new energy and chemical processes. Recently, VTT has developed and commissioned a Mobile Synthesis Unit (MOBSU) in close collaboration with INERATEC GmbH, a spin-off company of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany). The Mobile Synthesis Unit is a multipurpose system for CO2 upgrading to energy carriers and chemicals, which can be transported on-site where CO2 emission and renewable energy are available.

The unit is comprised of a VTT in-house designed reverse water gas shift reactor and a micro-scale Fischer-Tropsch reactor by INERATEC. These technologies enable the production of hydrocarbon products from CO2 and H2 with production rate of 14 kg of hydrocarbons per day in continuous operation. The initial start-up of the unit was in 2016 and it’s currently in the use of SOLETAIR project.

During 2017 a methanation reactor will be added enabling the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG). The process utilizes Sabatier reaction in which CO2 and H2 react to methane typically on a nickel catalyst.

All reactors and a control room are constructed in a single 2.5x 9.1 x 2 m container. It is possible to transport the unit for on-site testing of an industrial waste gas stream. In spring 2017 the container will be transported to the solar power field of Lappeenranta University of Technology as part of SOLETAIR project.


Fisher-Tropsch reactor by INERATEC GmbH

Produces Fischer-Tropsch gases, liquids and waxes.

Inlet gas feed rate 5 Nm3/h

Temperature: 200 - 240 °C

Pressure: 10 - 30 bar(a)

Reverse water-gas-shift reactor by VTT

Produces CO from CO2 for the synthesis unit.

Temperature: 850 °C

Pressure: 5 bar(a)

Methanation reactor by VTT (to be installed in 2017)

Produces synthetic natural gas from CO2 and H2.


Lenght: 9.1 m

Width: 2.5 m

Height: 3.0 m + 5 m effluent piping on top of the container

Control room