Electrons to Chemical Bonds (E2CB)

By improving the electrolysis technology (efficiency, use of materials), renewable energy is used better and we can efficiently produce clean chemicals and synthetic fuels.



The research focuses on improving electrolysis technology in the production of synthetic fuels and chemicals. By improving technology, for example by making it more efficient or by making better use of materials, renewable energy is used better and we can produce clean chemicals and synthetic fuels efficiently.

In the current E2CB project, the universities involved are examining the production of synthetic fuels and chemicals using electricity in a lab setting, and they are looking for possible improvements. Can production be more efficient when it comes to:

  • Hardware (technical means of production such as reactor, spinning disc)?
  • Process?
  • On molecular level (can European raw materials be used, which increases availability and reduces costs)?

The following production processes are considered:

  1. CO2 > methane (natural gas). When using natural gas, we could capture the carbon and reuse it, that way the carbon circle can be closed and emissions reduced.
  2. CO2 + N2 (nitrogen) > basic chemicals for fertilizer.
  3. COx + H2 > liquid fuels.
  4. N2 > ammonia.
  5. Biomass > chemicals.


  • Making the production processes more sustainable contributes to reducing CO2 emissions, thereby making the port of Rotterdam climate neutral and achieving climate goals.
  • Electrification of chemical production processes becomes a feasible and realistic scenario for the business sector.
  • Partner commitment provides essential input and questions of actual users. This allows for realistic scaling-up of electrolysis technologies.


  • How do we get a complete system that is feasible, scalable and can be implemented?
  • Which parties want to be involved in development and scale-up? The input from those parties is needed to learn what requirements users have, so that these can be included in further development. Certainly, for the integration of these processes in a chain, input (mostly technical) from companies is crucial.


  • Electrification of chemical processes and fuel production reduces CO2 emissions and thereby the climate goals can be achieved.
  • Large-scale production of liquid hydrocarbonates using reusable carbon will drastically reduce CO2 emissions.
  • The universities become leaders in this field of science.
  • The use of green hydrogen accelerates the energy transition.


Avebe, Chemelot, Nuon, Proton Ventures, Shell, Tata Steel, TNO, Yara, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE), Leiden University, Groningen University, University of Twente, Wageningen University.


2019 – 2023

This project is part of the Smart Energy & Industry roadmap. For more information about this project or this roadmap, please contact project developer Mel Valies.