New Business

Sustainability of the production process by thermochemically converting waste into hydrogen and carbon


The company Gouda Refractories manufactures refractory bricks. Together with the young company DOPS, they aim to reduce their natural gas consumption using a new technology. Although DOPS already has a working pilot reactor, both companies want to validate the process on an industrial scale. They approached KH Engineering for this purpose.


The technology developed by DOPS is promising. It can extract syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide) and solid carbon from various residual streams, with negligible CO2 emissions. Gouda Refractories intends to use the produced synthesis gas for climate-neutral heat in their own production process.

The DOPS process utilises thermochemical conversion technology, where only a small amount of oxygen is needed to initiate a gasification reaction process reaching very high temperatures. KH Engineering conducted a FEL 1 study to determine if this is also applicable on an industrial scale, where the CAPEX budget was a crucial part. Additionally, KH Engineering performed a plot study and designed a plot plan.

In this study, we had to develop several scenarios. The reactor operates at a very high temperature, up to 1200 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the gas must be cooled immediately, or it could damage the installation. Additionally, it is necessary to map out how the reactor’s feed is regulated, what raw materials are used and how the products are processed.

KH Engineering has established a mass balance and is now working on an energy balance, which requires extensive calculations. In a follow-up study (FEL 2), KH Engineering will specify how the equipment should be designed and whether there are further applications for all the heat, apart from heating Gouda Refractories’ production process.

Client benefits

After this study, Gouda Refractories can decide whether to deploy the DOPS technology to make their production process more sustainable. If Gouda Refractories opts for this technology, the company can reduce its natural gas consumption and thus emit less CO2.

Advantage of working with KH Engineering

The client was very satisfied with the collaboration. KH Engineering held several workshops with Gouda Refractories and DOPS to discuss the risk analysis and develop the business case. With the New Energy & Infrastructure group, KH Engineering has the right expertise to develop such a new concept effectively, challenge their clients and think along with them. They appreciated this.

Activities of KH Engineering

KH Engineering performed the following activities for this project:

  • FEL 1 feasibility study
  • High-level mass and energy balance
  • Safety study
  • CAPEX cost estimation
  • Design process diagram with various scenarios
  • Plot plan with 3D rendering
  • Workshops with stakeholders; business case analysis and risk & opportunities analysis

Project Manager: Marijn Blommaert

For more information about this project or opportunities in the energy transition, please contact our colleagues of New Energy & Infrastructure.

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