Both in research and in practice, experts agree that – notwithstanding the goal of 1 million electric vehicles – significant penetration of the German vehicle fleet with electric cars and utility vehicles will take a long time. This results in a need to quickly provide technologies that can promote a rapid reduction in the fossil CO2 emissions from transportation.
January 2019 until December 2021
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)
Institut für Solarforschung
Institut für Verbrennungstechnik
Institut für Technische Thermodynamik
Robert Bosch GmbH ETH
Kraftanlagen München GmbH
Project Manager at the Institute of Networked Energy Systems:
The research project “Solare Kraftstoffe” (Solar Fuels) has taken up the goal of identifying fuel candidates that can be produced competitively from water and CO2 using solar thermal energy for a substantial reduction in carbon emissions. They must also be suitable as drop-in fuels that can be used effectively in the existing infrastructure for fuelling and combustion. In this project, the DLR Institute of Solar Research is working together with the DLR Institute of Combustion Technology and the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics as well as with Robert Bosch GmbH ETH and Kraftanlagen München GmbH as associated partners.
With regard to the envisaged “solar fuels”, the general goal of the project is to depict and evaluate the entire process chain for solar-produced fuels, from production to technical utilisation. The goals are to select promising candidates among the many possible drop-in fuels based on efficiency, to determine the product selectivity with regard to the production path and to analyse the combustion behaviour with an eye to suitability as a drop-in fuel.
The “Solare Kraftstoffe” project focuses on drop-in fuels that can be used with the existing fuelling and processing infrastructure. This enables a significantly faster implementation on the market than would be possible with concepts that require the replacement of vehicle fleets, the creation of a parallel infrastructure or expansion of existing infrastructure. A feasibility and potential analysis study is being prepared in which this problem will be investigated both from the side of solar power generation from water and CO2 and from the side of the consumer, in other words the engine combustion process.
Through quantification of environmental and economical parameters, the entire life cycle of these fuels will be evaluated.
The expected results of the study are a reliable assessment of the most promising fuel candidates and a description of the path to their production and use. On this basis, it will then be possible in follow-up work to create the technology required to implement this path and demonstrate its feasibility.
The possible market introduction strategies for the developed fuels will be evaluated via energy systems analysis.