Institute for Micro Process Engineering (IMVT)

Energy Systems 2050 – A Contribution of the Research Field Energy

  • contact:

    Benzinger, Walther

  • Partner:

    German Aerospace Center (DLR), Stuttgart, Germany

    Helmholtz-Centre Berlin (HZB), Berlin, Germany

    Helmholtz-Centre Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Dresden, Germany

    Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany

    Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam (GFZ), Potsdam, Germany

    Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP - associated), Garching, Germany

    Research Centre Jülich (FZJ), Jülich, Germany

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The joint initiative ES2050 pursues systemic solutions for the successful transformation of the energy system and for a save and sustainable energy supply for tomorrow and beyond. Therefore scientists with interdisciplinary know-how from engineering, natural sciences, economics, and social sciences together develop technological solutions for use by politics and industry. The scientific approach is structured into five topics (FT) to fully address the decisive factors of the so-called Energiewende. The three technological value chains "Storage and Grids", "Bioenergy", and "Hydrogen-based Energy and Resource Pathways" are flanked by "Life-Cycle-Oriented Sustainability Analysis at System Level" to consider ecological, economic, and social aspects by the development of methods and concepts to determine indicators. Together with the newly developed software platform and underlying databases of topic "Toolbox and Data Models“, the results are combined in the design of our future energy system. Therefore, the scientists perform power flow and energy system modelling as well as levelized cost of energy analyses to ensure economic aspects are taken into account.

In the FT2 (Bioenergy), it is assumed that the biogenic waste potential in Germany can supply 10% of our primary energy consumption. As a sustainable, storable and CO2-neutral resource, we investigate how the conversion of biomass into usable energy sources can be integrated into the energy system and what contribution the conversion of biomass can make in the set of physical and chemical energy sources. The bioliq process to transform straw into sustainable fuels through a thermochemical process step is an example for an innovative process. This research topic aims to fully integrate the process chain "biogenic energy carriers" for the production of chemical energy sources (fuels), basic chemicals as well as electricity and heat. It has to be technically adapted to fluctuating boundary conditions and it has to be optimized economically. Processes for the conversion of biomass into intermediate products with higher energy density are being investigated. The intermediates can be transported over long distances in order to be processed into syngas/higher quality products in central plants. In a parallel path, the generation of storable liquid and gaseous energy carriers via decentralized processes is considered. For this purpose, the biogenic syngas production must be linked to the hydrogen supply by electrolysis to produce synthetic liquid fuels and storable gaseous energy sources.

The IMVT is engaged in the development and demonstration of compact processes and devices for decentralized processes for chemical energy storage. The focus here is on energy efficient modular process components, e.g. for the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) and the Fischer-Tropsch process. Recent developments address the issue of dynamic process control (Fischer-Tropsch), as well as the question of how far fluid guiding elements (FGE) can increase the efficiency of plants for production of synthetic carbon-neutral fuels. The experimental validation should be based on the experimental possibilities available in the Energy Lab 2.0 in pilot scale.