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Carbon-free production

KIT tests Power-to-X on container scale

Ten liters of yield per day is not much – but the test facility at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a special one: It combines all four necessary process steps to produce fuel from carbon dioxide, water, and green electricity.

09 Sep. 2019
KIT tests Power-to-X on container scale (Photo: Patrick Langer, KIT)

The researchers report that sector coupling would make it possible to store green electricity in the long term and that fuels with a high energy density could be used in a carbon dioxide-neutral way. They have now taken a first step toward storing previously unused green electricity in energy sources, in collaboration with project partners. The chemical process steps for coupled operation were combined in a compact plant. First, the plant extracts carbon dioxide from the ambient air. The carbon dioxide and water vapor are then electrolytically split. Long-chain hydrocarbon molecules are then formed from the synthesis gas, before the quality of the fuel is finally optimized. The next step is to develop a plant capable of producing 200 liters of the mixture per day.

The research is part of the German federal government’s Kopernikus project , which aims to investigate central questions relating to energy system transformation. In addition to the focus on Power-to-X, which deals with the conversion of electricity from renewable sources into energy storage systems, energy carriers, and chemical products, new energy grid structures are also being investigated.