With the Institute of Future Fuels, which was founded in 2020, DLR is able to deepen and expand its research work in the area of climate-neutral fuels. In the future, new technologies should produce large quantities of fuels based on renewable sources along the equatorial Sun belt. In addition to meeting local needs via suitable transport routes, the fuels can also supply industrial nations such as Germany with energy and can also be used in air and maritime transport. The Institute of Future Fuels bases its mission on this vision of the future, to develop the necessary materials, components and processes.
- Evaluation of solar production processes
- Chemical and physical foundations
- Solar chemical process development
- Solar process demonstration
Solar radiation tests
The institute tests manufacturing processes for solar fuels and carbon-dioxide-neutral industrial processes with a focus on thermal solar chemistry and photoelectrochemistry in its high-flux density solar furnace and solar simulator research facility in Cologne and the solar simulator research facility Synlight in Jülich.
The facilities are also used to test the suitability of components for industrial applications under intensive solar conditions.
Furthermore, the researchers carry out high-temperature material tests and dynamic irradiations, for example the simulation of a cloud passage, and support the experimental design and planning.
The foundation of all work in this context is precise measurement technology. This is subject to constant monitoring in international coordination with partner institutes to ensure the best possible quality of research.
With over 250 experiments carried out to date, DLR's large-scale research facility in Cologne offers the most comprehensive expertise in the world.
Investigation of heat-carrier fluids
Heat transfer is a central process in the production of climate-neutral fuels by means of thermal processes. Our researchers are primarily investigating heat-carriers for maximum operating temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius to be able to increase the thermal efficiencies of the processes.
Another achievement is detailed research on the formation and accumulation of hydrogen in the absorber tubes of parabolic-trough solar collectors, which can damage the vacuum insulation.
The Institute's heat transfer fluid laboratory in Cologne has already analysed the current hydrogen contents of the fluids for 36 solar thermal power plants.