EU continues to fund coal and steel research

(EurActiv, 29 Jul 2019) A relatively unknown EU fund supports coal and steel research projects. Among other things, the money is used to purchase highly toxic gases and optimise processes in the coal industry. EURACTIV Germany reports.

The EU should soon be done with relying on coal – by 2025 at the latest, there should no longer be subsidies for the coal industry.

And yet the European Commission continues to support projects of large energy companies for coal research projects. Documents from Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations, the European Environmental Bureau (EBB), demonstrate this. EURACTIV was presented with this document.

For example, one of the 150 or so projects funded is examining the gasification of lignite and recyclable materials to make the process “more efficient and cost-effective”. When it comes to the gasification process called High-Temperature Winkler (HTW), liquid fuels such as methanol or diesel are produced from synthetic gas.

The European Commission is allocating more than €1.75 million to the project, in which the energy supplier RWE, in cooperation with the Technical University (TU) Darmstadt, built a pilot plant in 2015.

ThyssenKrupp, the universities of Ulster and L’Aquila, the Hellas Centre for Research &Technology and the Polish Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal are also involved.

The plant aims to investigate the gasification of coal together with other substances. If other substances – such as biomass or plastics – are included, the proportion of coal in this commonly used process could potentially be reduced. This is according to a researcher at Darmstadt Technical University, who was contacted by EURACTIV.

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EurActiv, 29 Jul 2019: EU continues to fund coal and steel research