Alternative Fuels in Transport
The transport sector (road traffic, aviation, and shipping) is currently based primarily on the use of fossil fuels derived from oil or natural gas. The CO2 released during the combustion of these fuels is a greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to climate change. That is why, in addition to electromobility, climate-neutral alternative fuels are in focus of todays’ research and are positioned in political agendas like the National Hydrogen Strategy.
Advanced biofuels without food or land competition or electricity-based power-to-liquid (PtL)/power-to-gas (PtG)) products are promising options. These fuels only generate as much CO2 as they have absorbed in the manufacturing process, and are therefore considered as CO2-neutral. They can be used with current vehicle fleets and infrastructures. Conclusively, they can contribute to achieving the climate protection goals immediately. Simultaneously, with the targeted optimization of these synthetic fuels, pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, soot or particulate matter can be reduced to a minimum. Synthetic fuels are not in competition with electromobility, but complementary as they can be used in sectors, where electrification is difficult. This is especially the case for aviation and marine applications, but also for the automobile long distance haulage synthetic fuels are a promising option.
In addition to the environmental aspects, the use of synthetic fuels in transport introduces a whole series of other crucial criteria. These include:
• Ethical aspects
• Political will
• User acceptance
Through many years of research projects in collaboration with industrial and political representatives, the department has built up a wealth of experience in the field of fuels investigation, evaluation and optimization with special focus on the combustion properties. This experience is recorded in the form of databases and meta studies, which are continuously updated.
Jürgens, S.; Selinsek, M.; Bauder, U.; Rauch, B.; Köhler, M.: Potential of decentralized container-scale PTL plants for aviation: From crude to post-processed FT-SPK. Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2020 Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition GT2020, June 22 - 26, 2020, London, England, https://doi.org/10.1115/GT2020-14306.
Jürgens, S.; Oßwald, P.; Selinsek, M.; Piermartini, P.; Schwab, J.; Pfeifer, P.; Bauder, U.; Ruoff, S.; Rauch, B.; Köhler, M.: Assessment of combustion properties of non-hydroprocessed Fischer-Tropsch fuels for aviation. In: Fuel Processing Technology (2019), Volume 193, p. 232 - 243, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuproc.2019.05.015.
Bierkandt, T.; Severin, M.; Ehrenberger, S.; Köhler, M., 2018, Kurzstudie: Klimaneutrale synthetische Kraftstoffe im Verkehr [short study: Climate-neutral synthetic fuels in transport] https://elib.dlr.de/126963/