Future Fuels

… an important contribution to the energy transition

CO2-neutral fuels can be produced from renewable electricity and a carbon source. Foto: H.D. Volz/ pixelio.de

Future fuels are fuels that have to meet complex sustainability requirements and their applicability in technical applications. They can be made from different raw materials. These can be renewable raw materials such as biomass and, increasingly, biomass residues that are processed into biomass-to-liquids (BtL) biofuels. Examples are XTL fuel like hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO), biodiesel and fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), pyrolysis oil or bio-ethanol. In addition, it is possible to use residual materials or alternative CO2 sources (for example from industrial waste gases) in the waste-to-liquids (WtL) path to produce carbons, which can be developed into synthetic fuels (Synfuels like Methanol, Methanol-to-Gasoline, Dimethylether or XTL fuels) by adding hydrogen. Hydrogen can in turn be produced by electrolysis using renewable excess electricity. And finally, hydrogen itself can be an important renewable energy source, which is set to play a central role in energy-intensive industries such as the production of steel, cement, chemicals and liquid energy sources.

The demands on Future Fuels are high. Their production from renewable raw materials must not compete with food and animal feed and their greenhouse gas reduction potential compared with fossil fuels should be at least 70% according to the Renewable Energy Directive. They should be compatible with fossil fuels and combustibles so that an admixture is possible and quality characteristics such as shelf life must be maintained. Future fuels that meet these requirements are an important building block for the successful implementation of the energy transition and for achieving the climate protection targets.

Read more: Fuels and combustibles -part of the success story of the OWI