Electrolyzer Copyright: © Forschungszentrum Jülich

The work in the field of the electrolysis is directed to the achievement of a bifunctional system for the production of hydrogen from electricity and vice versa in one assembly. Especially in the sphere of low temperature processes, there is a substantial need for research.

One main topic is the development and optimization of conversion technologies for an efficient energy supply. Models and concepts for electrochemical procedures for the production and distribution of hydrogen as well as the expertise and the experience of the project partners of P2F in this field contribute in here. Further, the development of cost-efficient, powerful and sustainable materials for a PEM electrolysis and the evaluation of the progress are part of the research in the Competence Center. The focus is on an improvement of the energy and power density, a longer lifetime and a maximum safety of the electrolyzer.

The specific advantages and disadvantages of the individual cell types can be compiled by means of a process analysis. The target values of the lifetime and the efficiency level, economic costs, load variation speeds and overload carrying capacities constitute the main influencing factors on the evaluation of the electrolysis process.



Membrame Copyright: © AVT_RWTH

The research field of the catalysis in the Competence Center Power to Fuel focuses the development of heterogeneous catalysts for an efficient use of the products won in the electrolysis. Hydrocarbons and methanol or methyl ether come into question here as well as more complex molecular structures. The area of fundamental research also investigates the promising homogeneous catalysis for those conversion processes.

The goal of P2F is to develop and establish catalysts and catalytically active materials to achieve an efficiency as high as possible in the chemical conversion.

Methods to model molecular processes and analysis techniques to characterize catalysts under process conditions are applied for the understanding of structure activity relationships.

Further components of the work in P2F are the development and improvement of reaction engineering concepts for continuous processes in the molecular catalysis and a model based process design for an efficient production under fluctuating material and energy flows.


Fuel and Engine

Engine test bench Copyright: © VKA_RWTH

This research topic focuses an integrated optimization approach of fuel and engine through numerical as well as experimental methods.

One of the main goals of P2F is to describe an engine that is optimized for various fuels.

To achieve an efficiency level of the produced fuels in the Power 2 Fuel process as high as possible, it is necessary to adjust the motor operating parameters to the fuels. An efficient inclusion of this field in the entire research process offers the opportunity to demand requirements for the synthetically produced fuel. The advantages of the interdisciplinary work in the Competence Center Power to Fuel are reflected in here.

Of major importance at P2F is the interaction between tests and simulations. Motor simulation models are developed and applied in order to analyze the fuel influence. The advantages of simulations are their cost and time saving characteristics.

A final evaluation takes place with regard to the consumption and the pollutant emissions as well as to the efficiency of the whole process chain.


Process Analysis

Analysis of the environmental impact Copyright: © Peter Winandy

The central goal of the process analysis of P2F constitutes the optimal integration of all individual processes into the process chain in order to achieve a sustainable overall concept. So, the work in the Competence Center Power to Fuel is not primarily geared towards the chemical end product, but rather towards the development of a process concept to achieve an efficient conversion chain with the corresponding effectiveness.

The focus is on a computer-based analysis and on an improvement of the energy processes. Furthermore, methods to evaluate process-product-chains are developed. Possibilities to improve the product itself and the individual processes or the overall Power 2 Fuel process can be derived in the light of these evaluations.



The method of the Life-Cycle-Assessment is the basis for the ecological overall assessment. Copyright: © RWTH_LTT

The method of the Life-Cycle-Assessment is the basis for the ecological overall assessment. This contains a comprehensive view of all environmental impacts over the whole life span of the process. Especially when using electric energy from regenerative sources, this form of analysis plays an important rule. A Life-Cycle-Assessment has four steps:

  1. Definition of goal and scope
  2. Life cycle inventory
  3. Life cycle impact assessment
  4. Interpretation