P2X Phase 1 & 2



Within the framework of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s four Kopernikus projects, academic, industrial, and civil society have joined forces to develop technological and economic solutions vital to the transformation of energy systems worldwide. The Kopernikus projects deal with power grid developments, energy storage solutions to turn intermittent renewable energy sources into controllable ones, industrial reorganization to incorporate dynamic load balancing into industrial processes so that they can better respond to variable energy supply, and closer integration between industrial sectors and the broader energy system. In particular, the “Power-to-X” Kopernikus project focuses on the usage and storage of renewable energy.



The project aims to develop an overall concept for the broader integration of renewable energies into fuels and industry, not just narrowly as a part of the electrical grid. To this end, renewable electricity is used for the electrocatalytic generation of hydrogen gas, carbon monoxide, or synthesis gas, with carbon dioxide obtained from industrial processes or direct air capture serving as the carbon source. The desired end products include custom fuels, plastics, and chemical feedstocks.

  Kopernikus project for the energy transition Copyright: © Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, RWTH Aachen University

As part of the first phase of the “Power-to-X” Kopernikus project, oxymethylene ether (OMEx), among others, are being investigated as potential alternative fuels and building blocks for plastics. The Institute for Technical Thermodynamics was concerned with the environmental assessment of process chains for OMEx. Life cycle assessment was therefore deployed to quantify various environmental impacts, and a process optimization was carried out according to life cycle assessment performance parameters. This revealed promising routes for more environmentally efficient utilization of variable energy supply.

In the second phase of the “Power-to-X” Kopernikus project, the Institute for Technical Thermodynamics coordinated the standardization of the environmental assessments within the Kopernikus project while also working towards sustainable production of plastic feedstocks for the chemical industry. After comparing different feedstock production routes, it successfully found some desirable routes that could make more environmentally efficient use of intermittent energy sources.

  Federal Ministry of Education and Research Copyright: © BMBF

Project Details

Project Duration

October 2016 to September 2019

November 2019 to October 2022


Federal Ministry of Education and Research