On the premises of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), a new test facility – within the German government-funded P2X Kopernikus project – combines all four steps required to produce synthetic fuels from air and green power. On top of being carbon-neutral, synthetic fuels function as a storage for surplus renewable energy, allowing coupling the sectors of power and mobility.
“Worldwide, wind and sun supply a sufficient amount of energy, but not always at the right time,” says Professor Roland Dittmeyer, KIT. “Moreover, a few important transport sectors, such as air or heavy-duty traffic, will continue to need conventional fuels in the future, as they have a high energy density.” Hence, it is only reasonable to store the so far unused green power in chemical energy carriers.
The test facility demonstrates the whole process chain from green power to fuels with high energy density. Climeworks direct air capture technology secures the supply of the core element of this process: CO₂ from air.