BERLIN, 20.11.19

Biofuels in Aviation and Shipping - Boosting Greenhouse Gas Reduction Potential Now

Aeronautics and shipping are a particular focus of public criticism. Liquid alternative fuels are the only option in this context if these sectors are to make an effective contribution to the global climate protection commitments to be introduced from 2021. The very long life cycles of aircraft and ships are simultaneously a fundamental problem and a challenge.  Voluntary commitments, e.g. to ensure that increased transport levels are greenhouse gas neutral, inevitably lead to the question of which alternative fuels are available and technically feasible today. These fundamental questions will be addressed by the Forum "Biofuels in Aviation and Shipping" on the occasion of the 17th International Conference on Renewable Mobility, which will be held in Berlin from 20th to 21st January 2020.

Which fuels are the fuels of the future? This question is the focus of the lecture by Lizzie German, E4tech. She looks at the future options and perspectives for alternative fuels for aviation and shipping. Without climate protection measures, CO2 emissions from aviation in particular would increase by about three percent per year due to traffic growth. Technical innovations are already being deployed today to increase aviation efficiency through optimum processes on the ground and in the air. The goal: CO2-neutral flying thanks to new aircraft concepts as well as alternative fuels and engines. In shipping, too, there are already concepts such as shore-side power plants to replace permanently running diesel generators in ports as power generators on the ship. The first vessels that run completely without diesel, using environmentally friendly LNG gas drives, have already set sail on seas and rivers and are proving their reliability.

Henrik Erämetsä, Neste Corporation, discusses the opportunities for novel feedstocks that arise from the recast Renewable Energies Directive (RED II), which all European Union Member States must transposed into national legislation by June 2021 at the latest. Particular attention will be paid to the role of paraffinic fuels for transport sector decarbonisation. These fuels are already produced on an industrial scale on the basis of synthesis gas from fossil feedstocks such as gas or hydrogenated bio-oils. They are referred to as GtL (Gas-to-Liquid) or HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils). The fuels are characterized by lower emissions and improved performance in cutting greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional diesel fuel. The characteristics of synthetic diesel fuel produced in this way mean it can be mixed with fossil diesel in any ratio.

S. Mani Sarathy (Clean Combustion Research Center) will present a forward-looking overview of the clean combustion of fuels of the future in tomorrow’s engines. Combustion engines will remain the engine of the future for years to come, especially in areas that are difficult to electrify. However, these engines are reaching the technical and physical limits for increased efficiency, and thus it is the fuel that must help reduce greenhouse gases. The material compatibility of these new fuels also plays a decisive role in engine development and exhaust gas aftertreatment.

Dr.-Ing. Franziska Müller-Langer (German Biomass Research Centre DBFZ) explains the DBZFZ project on renewable multiblend JET A-1 aircraft fuel in practical applications and shows insights and results in the DEMO-SPK project. This project focuses on CO2-neutral flying with new synthetic kerosene. On the way to this goal, CO2 growth must be offset by global climate protection projects. By 2050, CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 50 percent compared to 2005. This can only be achieved by combining new drive concepts with synthetic renewable fuels.