EU-funded project seeks to demonstrate synthetic fuels and green H2 from waste biomass

May 17, 2017 |

In Germany, twelve SME, industrial, and scientific partners, coordinated by Fraunhofer UMSICHT, are participating in a new ambitious research project named TO-SYN-FUEL which will build up, operate and demonstrate the production of Synthetic Fuels and Green Hydrogen from waste biomass. Building and extending from previous framework funding, the project is designed to set the benchmark for future sustainable development and growth within Europe and will provide a real example to the rest of the world of how sustainable energy, economic, social and environmental needs can successfully be addressed.

The TCR technology developed by Fraunhofer UMSICHT could be the solution. The thermo-catalytic reforming TCR produces renewable liquid fuels from waste biomass, which can replace fossil fuels. These fuels comply with European standards for gasoline and diesel EN228 and EN590, which have already been demonstrated on a pilot scale. The TCR technology converts all kinds of residual biomass into three main products: H2-rich synthesis gas, biochar and liquid bio-oil, which can be upgraded. By high pressure hydro-deoxygenation HDO and conventional refining processes, a diesel or petrol equivalent is created in the distillation and is ready to be used directly in internal combustion engines.

To demonstrate and validate the technical and commercial viability of this integrated approach, this project will combine in one plant TCR, HDO and pressure swing adsorption PSA, together with respective environmental and social sustainability mapping. The main objective is to create TCR and HDO and the separation of H2 through the combination of a new value chain. Within the project biogenic residues or organic residues are converted into useful, inexpensive and high-performance synthetic fuels on a demonstration scale. The scale up of one hundred of such plants installed throughout Europe would avoid GHG emissions equivalent to five millions people per year and divert millions of tonnes of organic wastes from landfill to sustainable biofuel production. As a result, the TCR technology opens up long-term opportunities to convert organic waste into renewable fuels and to directly implement these fuels into existing petroleum infrastructure.

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