The outputs from the PlasCarb project are graphite (graphitic carbon) and renewable hydrogen (RH2). Both these are themselves valuable products. The EU has designated graphite as one of the EU’s 14 economically critical raw materials and imported in substantial quantities into the EU27. It has been identified as of strategic importance in the development of future emerging technologies, ironically those needed for a low carbon economy.
The global graphite market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.52 % over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this growth is the increasing use of graphite in batteries and use in the emerging technologies such as advanced electronics and fuel cells. The global market for graphite, either mined or synthetic is worth approximately € 10 billion per annum.
Hydrogen is used in significant quantities by industry. Predicted global demand in 2016 is 286 million m3. Hydrogen has also been identified as a future transport fuel for a low carbon economy (including use in the emerging Fuel Cell technology) and the ability to produce renewable hydrogen has added benefits as currently 95% of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, PlasCarb will generate RH2, Renewable Hydrogen.