Baden-Württemberg: Re-fuels should make traffic more environmentally friendly

In addition to e-mobility, re-fuels are the beacons of hope for low-emission transport.

Baden-Württemberg: Re-fuels should make traffic more environmentally friendly

In addition to e-mobility, re-fuels are the beacons of hope for low-emission transport. In Baden-Württemberg, after thorough testing of this fuel, they want to go into production on an industrial scale.

Karlsruhe (dpa/lsw) - One of the largest plants in Germany for the production of regenerative synthetic fuels is to be built in Baden-Württemberg. This is the result of the "reFuels - rethinking fuels" project, which was presented on Monday in Karlsruhe. Once it has been established that re-fuels comply with EU emission and quality standards, reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent and can be refueled at the usual filling stations, there is no longer anything standing in the way of larger-scale production, explained project manager Olaf Toedter Monday. A plant with a capacity of 50,000 tons is to be built on the site of a refinery for around 100 million euros, said the engineer from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Refuels have the same energy density as fossil fuels and, alongside the expansion of electric drives, are considered an important component of CO2-neutral mobility. Re-fuels can be produced from carbonaceous residues from agriculture and forestry, from industrial and municipal waste, as well as through the direct conversion of CO2 and sustainably produced hydrogen. The primary products are to be manufactured in countries with more sun and wind, such as Chile, southern Spain and Morocco. The actual production is to take place in domestic refineries.

According to Thomas Hirth, Vice President for Transfer and International Affairs at KIT, liquid fuels will be indispensable in heavy goods traffic, shipping and aviation, but also in the existing car fleet. Unlike the ethanol produced from sugar beet or cane, which is already added to fossil fuels, re-fuels do not compete for agricultural land intended for food. In addition, unlike ethanol, it is absolutely clear to the 260 million drivers in the EU that they can safely switch their cars from fossil fuels to refuels, said Toedter.

Six KIT institutes are collaborating on the project with numerous partners from the energy, mineral oil, automotive, and supplier industries under the umbrella of the Strategic Dialogue for the Automotive Industry of the State of Baden-Württemberg. Two pilot and other technical systems of the KIT supplied regenerative fuels. These were processed and tested in test engines and vehicles. Summary of the scientists: fully suitable for everyday use.

The FDP called for an entry into industrial production. Green-black should set a good example and switch the country's official vehicles to re-fuels, said the liberal traffic expert Christian Jung.

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