Liquid energy sources and raw materials from fossil sources currently still account for approximately 98 percent of the driving energy in transport and 22 percent of heating energy in Germany. In addition, 16 percent of the mineral oil is consumed in the chemical industry. Several sectors of the economy will continue to depend on liquid energy sources with a high energy density or mineral oil equivalent raw materials in the future, including air traffic, shipping, heavy road haulage and the chemical industry.
Mineral oil equivalents from biomass
Fuels and chemical feedstocks based on biomass can play an important complementary role in these applications to reduce GHG emissions. Especially if they are produced from biogenic waste materials, so that their production does not compete with food production and a plate vs. tank discussion can be avoided. The EU Commission aims to phase out the use of conventional biofuels (»biodiesel«) for the period after 2020 and sets a minimum target for advanced biofuels in transport. [EU Directive 2015/1513]
New process improves oil quality
Biomass combustion, gasification and conversion generally have to contend with restrictions regarding the range of possible input materials, compliance with emission standards and overall energy efficiency. The quality of the products obtained from biogenic residues has also been unsatisfactory to date. Against this background, the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT in Sulzbach-Rosenberg has developed a new process for the utilization of biomass residues within the framework of the Center for Energy Storage, which was funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs at the Fraunhofer sites in Sulzbach-Rosenberg and Straubing with more than €16 million: thermocatalytic reforming.