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Renewable Fuels

Biofuels can be used  both as substitutes for fossil fuels in presentday vehicles and  to supply fuel cells in mobile and stationary applications.The extraction of hydrogenrich energy  sources from biomass can thus be seen as one  building block in the long-term wider prospects for hydrogen.

When  biomass  is used  as a source  of energy, carbon derived  liquid fuels can be extracted in conversion processes which  are practically carbon-neutral. Biomass as a source  of heat, fuel, and  electricity has great  development potential thanks  to its high  overall degree of efficiency. The optimized supply of electricity, heat, and  fuels – called “polygeneration” – is especially promising because it provides  a carbon-neutral energy source  for the transport sector.  Some 75 % of the energy  stored  in biomass  can be made available as chemical energy  – hydrogen – when  biomass  is gasified into synthesis  gas. Compared to the use of biomass  as vegetable oils (such as ”biodiesel”) or in biochemical processes (such as bio- ethanol), this method is a very efficient way of converting bioenergy into fuels. Biomass is therefore an excellent  first step  towards a sustainable scenario  for the liquid fuel sector.

Research and  development requirements

•   Production methods for carbon fuels from biomass

•   Synthesis gas with the highest possible hydrogen content from biomass

•   Gas reformation for the use of synthesis gas and fuel cells

•   Optimization of energy efficiency through the cogeneration of electricity, heat and fuels

•   Investigation of suitability for various energy systems  such as internal  combustion engines, fuel cells, combined heat and power (CHP) plants

•   System technology investigations, optimisation of process  management and  heat management

•   Better consumer acceptance thanks  to lower toxicity of processes and a greater overall safety

•   Basic research into the production of hydrogen  from bio-resources

•   Interface  technologies for a future  hydrogen economy

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