The microstructured Fischer-Tropsch reactor from INERATEC, which turns gases into liquid synthetic fuels was first presented at HANNOVER MESSE 2017, where it proved a popular exhibit with international visitors. Now it has also impressed the panel of judges for the Baden-Württemberg Environmental Technology Award 2017, earning itself third prize in the "Emission Reduction, Treatment and Separation" category. Representatives from KIT thus had two reasons to celebrate, as Minister of the Environment Franz Untersteller presented a second Baden-Württemberg Environmental Technology Award 2017 to another project supported by KIT - SOLINK. SOLINK combines photovoltaics and solar thermal technology into an efficient tandem collector.
"Thanks to the innovation efforts at KIT, we are able to bridge the gap between theoretical scientific insight and its practical application," declares Professor Thomas Hirth, Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs at KIT. "We want to be innovative - for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural resources. The fact that the Environmental Technology Award has been presented to two technologies for which we have been a driving force is very encouraging for us." INERATEC is a spin-off of KIT that develops and markets decentralized, microstructured, compact chemical reactors that convert greenhouse gases into chemicals and synthetic fuels. Its micro system plants pick up on the promising trend for energy- and material-efficient process engineering methods. The method showcased at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 produces synthetic fuels based on Fisher-Tropsch synthesis. The compact plant eliminates the need for complex components and is designed to deliver much faster start-up and shutdown processes. What's more, there's no need to flare-off excess process gases. The technology from INERATEC is currently in use in Finland, where it is converting hydrogen obtained from solar energy and carbon dioxide extracted from air into liquid fuels.