Renewable formic acid derived from captured CO₂ as a replacement of fossil feedstock in consumer goods 

The Horizon Europe project WaterProof releases a catchy and informative project video describing its innovative carbon capture and utilisation process aiming at a climate-neutral Europe and a truly circular EU economy

The incineration of waste and wastewater sludge and the treatment of waste streams lead to high greenhouse gas emissions. By this, CO₂ is released into the atmosphere contributing to global warming and climate change. Currently, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the subject of lively debate as a solution for eliminating CO₂ emissions. However, by merely storing carbon, a valuable renewable resource is lost for application by the chemical industry. Therefore, carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) is a sensible approach for replacing fossil feedstock with carbon from greenhouse gas emissions.

WaterProof is currently developing an electrochemical process that converts CO₂ emissions captured from consumer waste incineration and wastewater treatment facilities into formic acid. This renewable formic acid can be applied in valuable green consumer products, e.g. as decalcifying agent in cleaning products, and for the tanning of (fish) leather. Furthermore, WaterProof uses formic acid for the generation of acidic deep eutectic solvents (ADES) that can be applied for the recovery of precious metals from wastewater sludge and incineration ash. As the electrochemical process aims to utilise renewable energy, the process will contribute to a clean water-cycle with zero emissions. Furthermore, the renewable WaterProof process supports the sustainable transition of the EU by defossilising the chemical industry and by becoming more independent from fossil imports.

WaterProof now presents its complex and groundbreaking process in a project video:


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WaterProof is a four-year project with an international and multidisciplinary consortium of 11 partners under the lead of Avantium. More information on the project can be found here:

The WaterProof project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


nova-Institute, press release, 2024-01-10.


Avantium Technologies B.V.
Coatema Coating Machinery
CTA Centro de Ciencia y Tecnologia de Antioquia
European Commission
European Union
Horizon 2020
HVC Group
Nordic Fishleather EHF Iceland
nova-Institut GmbH
Stichting Waternet BV
Tecnalia Corp


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