Berlin, 22.11.19

Fuel Research Safeguards Current and Future Sales?

Biodiesel and bioethanol remain by far the most important alternative sustainable fuels in Germany and the European Union. That makes them an indispensable point of departure when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in existing vehicle fleets. Every tankful of these fuels makes a contribution to climate protection. In 2018, that was equivalent to a reduction of around 7.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, these biofuels will remain by far the most important alternative over the next few years, as reflected in the constantly increasing mandates for blending in North and South America and Asia. That means that a range of blend percentages will be needed to meet engine and emission requirements, not only in the European Union, but in particular also in these countries. Many years of biofuel research in Germany provides important results in this respect, along with approaches concerning potential obligations to add synthetic fuels to biodiesel as essential components in future. Against this background, systematic flanking research must ensure that greenhouse- gas-optimised and sustainable biofuels are further developed as globally important blending components and must also investigate synergy effects. The very ambitious timeframe established for meeting climate protection targets and perpetual growth in global transport levels make sustainable biofuels crucial in moving rapidly to a tangible energy turnaround in the transport sector. Dr. Wolfgang Podesta, Lanxess Deutschland GmbH, will take this as the topic of his opening lecture for this section. One drawback of biodiesel is its boiling behaviour, caused by the chain length of its fatty acids. In contrast to fossil diesel, biodiesel accumulates in engine oil. In pure fuel operation, this leads to shorter intervals between engine oil changes. Although this is not required when using diesel fuel with max. 7 % by volume, the question of how biodiesel influences engine oil quality and wear nevertheless arises. Stefan Zickmann, Volkswagen AG, answers this question for automobile diesel engines. Oxymethylene-dimethyl-ether, OME for short, represents one of the possible synthetic fuels from renewable electricity, although it is still in the early stages of development. However, initial results on test benches show that this fuel has extremely low pollutant emissions. The results will be addressed by Philipp Demel, Technical University, Darmstadt. Dr. Svetlana Crusius, ERC Additiv GmbH, will focus in her presentation on the characteristics and requisite additives needed to ensure compatibility with fossil and renewable fuels.