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Research and Development
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Sustainable fertilizer production from sun, air and water
Fertilizer production today comes along with immense CO2 emissions. Large amounts of natural gas are required to produce the important fertilizer base chemical ammonia. In Düsol, we modify the production in such a way, that no natural gas is used anymore. Solar-fired chemical processes generate the precursor components of ammonia solely from water and air.
Gtom – Tomograph for buildings
Measurement system for contactless energetic analyses of building envelopes
In Gtom scientists from four DLR institutes collaborate in developing methods to examine the energetic properties of building envelopes. These techniques are based on remote sensing technology and may be applied in the future to identify weaknesses in building envelopes and determine the sources of heat losses.
Solar Chemical Engineering
Development and qualification of solar receivers based on transparent ceramics for solar chemical processes
One of the central challenges in the design of solar receivers ist he availability of suitable materials for construction. This is especially applicable to solar receivers for chemical processes. For instance the evaporation and decomposition of sulfuric acid, where chemical stability is demanding. In the Project TRAKSOL, the application of transparent ceramics in solar receivers is investigated and demonstrated in lab scale. Through this, a relevant improvement in receiver efficiency is expected.
DLR interdisciplinary project
The growing share of renewable energies in Germany not only requires additional large capacities in the area of electricity and supply networks, but also innovative solutions for energy storage and transport. Synfuels are expected to play a key role as energy carrier for the transport sector and as energy buffer for the integration of large amounts of renewable energy into the grid. In Future Fuels, the most promising alternative fuels based on solar energy (solar fuels) will be identified and analysed for their technical and environmental performance.
Thermochemical storage based on redox reactions for CSP applications - from the material to the process
The RedoxStorE project brings together the expertise of three DLR institutes to develop and test a pilot scale thermochemical storage, based on redox material. The material, in shape of granules, undergoes a cyclic reversible reaction to alternatively store and release heat. The heat is stored through the on-sun endothermic reaction inside a directly irradiated rotary kiln while it is released in a vertical moving bed reactor.
Solar energy for chemical industry: Indirectly solar heated reformer for the production of methanol from CO2 and natural gas
The conventional production of synthesis gas (Syngas), which is an intermediate product for a variety of chemical products, such as Methanol, causes significant CO2 emissions. When utilizing solar energy, the emissions can be greatly reduced. Recycling of CO2 in the process further reduces the emissions.
Renewable power generation by a solar-driven sulphur storage cycle
Effective and economic long-term storage of solar energy is crucial in order to fully replace fossil power plants by renewable sources. In this context, the European project PEGASUS investigates a novel power cycle for renewable electricity production combining a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant with a sulphur storage system for 24 hours baseload operation.
High temperature solar-heated reactors for industrial production of reactive particulates
The main objective of the SOLPART project is to develop, at a pilot scale, a high temperature (800-1000°C) 24h/day solar process suitable for particle treatment in energy intensive non-metallic minerals’ industries. One of the main reactions is the calcination, in which CO
is released on the one hand due to the reaction and on the other hand due to the usage of fossil fuels. The goal of the SOLPART project is to reduce CO
release, by replacing fossil fuel with solar energy.
Automation of thermochemical processes to de-crease hydrogen generation costs
Solar thermochemical water-splitting via redox-cycles is a promising path for the generation of renewable fuels. ASTOR tries to set-up the first automatic control of a solar-thermochemical pro-cess. Hence, complex control algorithms based on a detailed process models have to be developed. Further objective is the increase of the total efficiency of the process by improvement of heat management and waste heat recovery.
From sunlight directly to fuel
SUN-to-LIQUID aims at developing a solar thermochemical technology as a highly promising fuel path at large scale and competitive costs. Solar radiation is concentrated by a heliostat field and efficiently absorbed in a solar reactor that thermochemically converts H
O and CO
to syngas which is subsequently processed to Fischer-Tropsch hydro-carbon fuels. Solar-to-syngas energy conversion efficiencies exceeding 30% can potentially be realized thanks to favourable thermodynamics at high temperature and utilization of the full solar spectrum.
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