Robust and Efficient processes and technologies for drop in renewable FUELs for road transport

Short Description

To achieve the European Union’s climate protection targets, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut down to 80% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, while in road transport, this will require 60% reduction in emissions. Nowadays road transport is still almost entirely based on conventional fuels and internal combustion engines. One pathway could be to gradually replace fossil fuels, on one hand by introducing electric mobility to cover short distances and on the other hand by introducing low-CO2 2nd generation liquid bio-based fuels to the market to ensure mobility over long distances. Moreover, the biomass used to produce this 2nd generation fuel must not compete with either food production or the areas under cultivation. The research work to open the envisaged pathway for the production and market introduction of such biofuels is a decisive step forward and is the core focus of the EU H2020 project “REDIFUEL” that has recently been launched.

Aims of the project

The overall objective of REDIFUEL is to enable sustainable and cost-competitive production of renewable EN590 diesel biofuel (drop-in capable) from various biomass feedstocks. This requires the development of new technologies and processes. One focus is the development of a compact and highly efficient Fischer-Tropsch process for the conversion of biogenic synthesis gas into a liquid raw product. Another core topic is to develop an efficient hydroformylation process for further processing of this raw product into a high-quality liquid fuel. For this production process from synthesis gas to diesel-compatible, EN 590 standard-compliant biofuel, a design for the construction of a small and a medium-sized production plant is to be developed.

The target fuel production costs are at the level of 0.90 – 1.00 € per litre (depending on the biomass source) and thus competitive with conventional fuels. Apart from high energy density, the fuel is also to be characterised by particularly advantageous low emission values. The environmental and social aspects of the developed technologies will be assessed in a comprehensive Biomass-to-Wheel performance analysis.

Working Tasks OWI

The use of renewable fuels in road transport means that the various stages of the chain from production to the final consumer need to be studied. In addition to storage stability, the interactions between fuel components and material as well as the interaction of the fuel with the engine lubricants have to be investigated. In detail these are:

  • Use of an accelerated ageing test method developed at the OWI to evaluate the storage stability of the developed fuels and blends. From the collected data, a model will be developed to describe the periodically measured “fuel aging parameters”.
  • Investigation of the interaction of the fuel and different fuel mixtures with lubricants
  • Investigation of the influence of fuel impurities in engine oil on lubrication
  • Identification of potential bottlenecks in the distribution and handling of REDIFUEL from production to the end user. Creation of information materials for potential users and policy makers.

Project partners

  • FEV Europe GmbH
  • Max-Planck Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Wissenschaften e.V.
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • Oel-Waerme-Institut gGmbH
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Neste OYJ
  • MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc
  • Ineratec
  • Uniresearch B.V.

Project promotion

This project has received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 817612.

Project duration

10/ 2018 to 09/2021


Nina Sittinger
Tel.: +49 2407/ 9518 144

Dr.-Ing. Sangeetha Ramaswamy
Tel.: +49 2407/9518 143