The defossilisation of the transport sector is an important objective of the energy transition in Germany (“Energiewende”). A key building block for achieving this goal can be synthetic fuels derived from hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). H2 production using electrolysis enables the integration of renewable energies into the transport sector. Therefore, the synthetic fuel combustion only releases CO2 previously taken from the environment incorporated into the synthetic fuel. Thus, synthetic fuels offer the potential to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector.
Within the NAMOSYN project, various synthetic fuels and their production routes are developed and evaluated from an ecological, economic, and societal point of view. The focus is on the development of fuels for motor vehicles and mobile machinery. For these applications, C1 oxygenates are investigated as promising fuel candidates, as they allow a significant reduction in combustion emissions and at the same time have low toxicity. Examples of C1 oxygenates, which are studied in NAMOSYN, are oxymethylene ether (OME) for diesel engines and dimethyl carbonate (DMC) and methyl formate (MeFo) for petrol engines.Copyright: © Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, RWTH Aachen University
In the scope of NAMOSYN, the Chair of Technical Thermodynamics assesses these synthetic fuels with an holistic ecological evaluation. For this evaluation, the method Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used to determine the environmental impacts over the entire fuel life cycle: The entire life cycle includes providing the necessary raw materials and energies, manufacturing processes as well as distribution and fuel use. Finally, the aim of the LCA is to assess the ecological potential of the synthetic fuels OME, DMC and MeFo compared to fossil diesel and petrol.Copyright: © BMBF