Omni3D and the Cyprus University of Technology are working on reducing CO2

Omni3D Ltd, which is specialized in the production of industrial 3D printing, is conducting an innovative project in collaboration with the Cyprus University of Technology within the European M-Era net.

The participants of the project “The production of biofuel in process using BioElectroCathodes and CO2” include Research and Innovation Centre Pro-Akademia – subordinate to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Cyprus University of Technology, Eneres CPM Ltd – an international company providing services in the area of energy, and Omni3D Ltd. The firm is one of the few beneficiaries that have been qualified for the realization of twenty-six European projects in 2018.

The aim of the project is to implement innovation in biological electrosynthesis biocatalysts. An international team will be working on inventing new cathodes and using 3D printing to build a Microbial Electrosynthesis Baffle Reactor, which can transform CO2 into biometan and-or ethanol.

The process of microbial electrosynthesis

The realization of the project will focus on solving the three main issues concerning current energy systems, which are:
1. Energy storing
2. Grid stability
3. CO2 emission

We believe that including Omni3D in this kind of project gives an opportunity to show new 3D printing implementations of our technology. It is also an attempt at recognizing responsibility and making all the entrepreneurs aware of the growing risk and the need of fighting the global warming. The success of the project is dependent not only on the work of the consortium members, but also on an active participation of countries demonstrating significant CO2 emission. As a representative of Poland in this international endeavor, we feel particularly obligated because our country takes the 21st place in the world CO2 emission ranking – explains Paweł Robak, the CEO of Omni3D Ltd.

The project is based on using a microbiological catalyst which reduces CO2 to organic products using electrons provided by an external energy source. The electrons are taken from the cathode of a bioelectrochemical system. The system has been designed mainly to conduct biological reductive reactions. This technology is also capable of:

1. converting electrical energy from (fluctuating) renewable energy sources into CH4 or ethanol that can be stored, distributed, and consumed on demand,
2. utilizing CO2 as a sole carbon source for the production of CH4 (that can be used as fuel or can be transformed to electricity by CHP engines) or ethanol.

The technology can be also used for biogas installation – there are over 12 400 of them in Europe, and in industries producing large amounts of CO2.

Krzysztof Kardach, the main technologist of OMNI3D, explains:

In the course of the project, we will develop and test thermoplastic materials, which will then be used to examine the efficiency of microbial electrosynthesis (MES). This is the first part. In the second part, the team will focus on developing a prototype of a 3D printer that is particularly optimized for mass production of the devised reactors. The final product of the project will help to fight with power shortage and, most importantly, it is a great advantage for industries emitting CO2 and common citizens as well. There will be two advantages: less CO2 in the atmosphere, and the biogas that can be used in households and vehicles as a power source with the ability to store it.

It is not the only project that is currently being developed by OMNI3D. The firm is also working on a pioneer multifunctional 3D FFF printing technology robot and new material solutions for the defense industry and civic aviation. In that area, the firm cooperates with academic facilities both domestically and internationally.

The firm also takes part in student projects. At the Formula Student international contest last year, the students of Rzeszów University of Technology used their race car which was equipped with an inlet manifold provided by OMNI3D. The members of the “Racing Team” came off second best in the Spanish Formula Student Andora.

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M-ERA is a net of 38 organization from 25 European countries financing research in material science and engineering. The consortium announces competitions supported by the European Commission for projects conducted by international research teams. OMNI3D operates in collaboration with the Cyprus University of Technology, Eneres CPM Ltd – a consulting company, and the Research and Innovation Centre Pro-Akademia.