The TEA-team at VITO assesses the economic impact of your project/process/value chain using an integrated and transparent methodology and a multi-disciplinary approach. We focus on defining roadmaps and setting research targets and less on the specific feasibility at the moment of assessment.

Approach

A techno-economic assessment (TEA) is an integrated evaluation of the technological performance and economic feasibility of a (new) process or value chain with the aim to identify the most important underlying parameters for its economic feasibility. As such a TEA helps taking go/no-go decisions in steering research, developments and investments.

The team also has an integrated sustainability assessment available in which economic, environmental as well as social impacts are integrated. The integrated techno-sustainability assessment can be used for companies, as well as policy makers and academics to perform sustainability analysis already in early technology development stages, when technologies and products are not yet commercially available on the market. The techno-sustainability assessment methodology can identify potential hurdles and opportunities to guide research & development, and make sustainable investment decisions.

Specific questions

  • Determining the economic feasibility of your process and the main influencing parameters. 
  • Determining the combined economic, environmental and social impact of your process and the main influencing parameters.
  • Allocate your budget and investment resources. 
  • Setting R&D targets.
  • Gaining a broad understanding of your process and its value chain. 
  • Convincing investors of the sustainability of your process (both economically and ecologically) 

Our solution

  • An integrated, uniform, and transparent methodology 
  • An iterative approach for well-informed decision making starting at low TRL (technology readiness level)
  • Comprehensive, objective and transparent results
  • An uncertainty/risk assessment

Why VITO

  • An independent, objective assessment
  • Open interaction and communication of the results
  • A multidisciplinary approach covering economic, environmental, social, technical and legal aspects
  • Expertise in valorization tracks
  • Extensive knowledge on value chains
  • Broad network

Our references

EnOp


The project aims to develop energy storage systems and 7 CO2-conversion technologies.

CO2PERATE


This project targets the sustainable production of formic acid, using CO2 and renewable electricity as main inputs, as well as the subsequent conversion of formic acid into higher value added compounds such as single cell proteins (SCPs). VITO is in charge of the TEA of the various technologies involved: homogenous & heterogeneous catalysis, photochemical catalysis, plasma-catalysis, electrochemical catalysis and bio-catalysis. The TEA aims to shed light on the cost structure of these novel value chains and to provide guidance to research activities to increase the chance of commercialisation.

CATCO2RE


CATCO2RE takes a completely new approach to the production pathways for natural gas and methanol, using instead solar based hydrogen and CO2 captured from biogas (or even the air) as inputs for new catalytical processes. In CATCO2RE, VITO on the one hand makes detailed economic assessments of the new technologies, such as the 3D printed catalysts and the hydrogen panel, but also takes a more holistic approach to see how the different parts of this value chain can be optimally connected. For example: how can we best link a solar based (intermittent) hydrogen supply with a thermal (continuous) process downstream?

CAPRA


To reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the steel sector is exploring the use of syngas fermentation, with pilot projects being rolled out at the ArcelorMittal plant in Gent. The CAPRA project will investigate whether the syngas broth obtained after fermentation could be used to manufacture higher value compounds via biological upgrading. Based on the pilot level performance of this new technology, VITO will make an assessment of the production cost of the targeted compounds, compare this with current market prices, and formulate suggestions for actions that might help to further lower the cost.

WOW! - Wider business Opportunities for raw materials from Waste water


WOW! project aims at transitioning the waste water treatment into a circular economy by valorizing the carbon-based elements from sewage into bio-based products. This project with international consortium of countries from north-west Europe explore the opportunities to develop value chains for raw materials from sewage such as cellulose, PHA and lipids. VITO is in charge of assessing technical and economic feasibility of these three value chains. VITO will specifically estimate the production cost of the end products and provide key insights into the areas that can be improved for further cost reduction and commercialization.

Grassification


Grassification project aims at valorizing the roadside grass clippings as a raw material for the bio-based products. The project is in collaboration with 13 partners from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. VITO is responsible for the techno-economic feasibility assessment of three value chains converting the grass into heat and electricity via biogas production either (1) in landfills or (2) in a digester while utilizing the digestate in land applications, or (3) converting it into high quality fibers to be used for the production of building panels and other bio-composite materials.

Intensification of CO2 capture processes (CAPTIN)

To limit the effects of global warming, introduction of CO2 capture technology is absolutely and urgently required. However, the high cost and technological limitations of available CO2 separation technologies restrict their successful and general industrial deployment in the CO2 capture and utilization (CCU) context. In this project, development of new and more efficient, sustainable and economically viable CO2 capture technologies are aimed. VITO is responsible for the technology mapping and the techno-economic assessment of the developed technologies, to evaluate the potential for future industrial applicability and identify CO2 capture applications. Bottlenecks and limiting factors will also be identified during this project.

Implementation and development of economic, viable, algae-based value chains (IDEA)


The scope of the techno-economic assessment (TEA) work within the IDEA project includes production of high-value commodities from microalgae, in particular, using the following strains and cultivation systems in northern Europe: Nannochloropsis spp., Porphyridium spp. and Chloromonas spp. cultivated in horizontal tubular photobioreactors (PBRs); and Scenedesmus spp. and Chlorella spp. grown in flat panels. Focus is put on the feasibility of year-round production by taking into account specific growth correlations, and incorporate additional downstream processes suitable for the strains and the targeted products. The work compares these different algae value chains through cost-benefit estimations, and presents the results for different products stochastically by taking into account variability in a number of parameters. The markets which these products are targeting for include food, feed, pet food, aquaculture and cosmetics.

NIBCON – Novel integrated biorefinery concepts for a carbon neutral bio-economy

The NIBCON project aims to identify and convert fibrous biobased materials, like lignin, into various new building blocks through biorefinery technologies. These building blocks can then be used to replace non-renewable resources. The project is a collaboration between KU Leuven, UGent,  VITO and VUB. The techno-economic assessment (TEA) will provide insight in the economic feasibility of the biorefinery reactor, different separation techniques (Liquid-Liquid/distillation/membrane), feedstocks (wood/lignin), and the associated CAPEX and OPEX. The assessment will also allow to identify the most influential parameters on the economic feasibility for each process. To further define the optimal value chain, the results from the TEA will be used as an input for the MooV model, which in turn provides data regarding the optimal value chain configuration.

Procura

The PROCURA project looks at the role of power-to-X in multi-energy systems and markets. Scenario studies worldwide show that Power-to-x (gas (e.g. H2, Methane), chemicals, liquid fuels) and Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) can become crucial technologies in achieving decarbonisation of our energy system by 2050 and increasing security of supply. This project will deliver a roadmap for these novel technologies for all sectors in Belgium, giving a clear view what steps are needed by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. With the TEA we will provide specific input to these roadmaps for the power-to-chemicals route.

Loter.CO2M


LOTER.CO2M aims to develop advanced, low-cost electro-catalysts and membranes for the direct electrochemical reduction of CO2 to methanol by low temperature CO2-H2O co-electrolysis. The materials will be developed using sustainable, non-toxic and non-critical raw materials. They will be scaled-up, integrated into a gas phase electrochemical reactor, and the process validated for technical and economic feasibility under industrially relevant conditions. The produced methanol can be used as a chemical feedstock or for effective chemical storage of renewable energy. The TEA will be performed to identify the economic feasibility of the process and to provide specific guidance for further technology development after TRL5.