What you need to know about P2X

Power-to-X: The short and sweet of it

Everyone is talking about the promising perspectives of a thing called PtX. But what does it stand for, why does it get all the hype, and what does it have to do with GreenLab? Get the explanation here in five minutes and get ready to join the PtX conversation.

Behind the P, T, and X
PtX is short for Power to X, and it’s all about what other forms of energy we can transform electrical power into. Now you might ask why it is interesting to transform power as we know it into something else? The answer is simple: When we get electrical power out of sustainable sources like the wind, the sun and the sea, we sometimes get more power than we actually need at a given moment. That means we have to find a way to store that surplus energy, so we can use it later. One of the ways to do that is to convert it into something else that is actually – well – storable. This is where the X comes in. The X stands for all the different substances that power can be turned into.

It starts with electrolysis. Electrolysis?
PtX works like this: First, the green power that we need to transform is used to fuel an electrolysis process. Don’t remember what electrolysis is from your physics classes?

It’s when you put an electrical current through water, and the water separates into hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O).

When the electrolysis is complete, we now have pure hydrogen (and oxygen, of course, but let’s focus on the hydrogen for now). The hydrogen can be used in its pure form in fuel cells that can be used as a kind of battery in many connections.

But we can also use it to create methane – a substance that can be utilised for many things, including heating and the production of (new) electrical power. We can also create methanol and ammonia from the hydrogen – substances that can be stored and used to create new electrical power at a later point. Mission accomplished! But it doesn’t stop there.

It gets better
In fact, methanol and ammonia can both be refined further and used to create something that holds great promises: synthetic fuels. Some can be used for heavy transport or shipping, some for aviation. This is where we can suddenly imagine a future where airplanes, trucks and container ships run on energy from the wind, sun and sea. So, you will be able to fly in an airplane fuelled by the wind and sun in the sky. Isn’t that a pretty picture?

And what’s more, when electrolysis is conducted, it creates a great amount of surplus heat that can be put into heating systems as “free” green heat.

How does GreenLab fit in?
At GreenLab, we take the power from the wind and the sun and use electrolysis to turn it into power, heat and green products such as electrofuels. In GreenLab, electrofuels mean hydrogen, methanol and ammonia.

This is sold to external partners for powering heavy transport, shipping, and much more. The excess heat from the electrolysis process is put into use in our unique SymbiosisNet – a shared energy network where our on-site industries share their excess energy with each other.

And what’s more – the power from the wind and sun is what keeps our industrial business park running. That means we make sure all our partners can deliver green products created through green production. In our view, that is how you make a sustainable business model that is not only green, but also profitable.

Soooo, what now? Are we ready to go?
Yes, very much is already lined up, built or being built in GreenLab as you read this – and by the end of 2022, our green, industrial business park, the first 6 MW PtX facility, and our system setup will be in full operation and production. You are very welcome to visit and join us in creating the power shift that is needed – we need as many players as possible on board!