The EU project »The Demonstration of Waste Biomass to Synthetic Fuels and Green Hydrogen« (acronym: TO-SYN-FUEL) was launched on 01 May 2017. The Horizon 2020 project is led by Fraunhofer UMSICHT Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Department of Energy Technology, together with other partners.
The project has a total volume of over 14 million euros and a duration of 48 months. The project aims to show how liquid synthetic fuels and hydrogen can be produced decentrally from residual biomass (in this case sewage sludge) for the first time.
Background and motivation
Millions of tonnes of organic waste (biogenic residual and waste materials) from various sectors are today landfilled or incinerated worldwide. This leads to significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and corresponding air, soil and water pollution.
In the TO-SYN-FUEL project, such waste materials from biomass (e.g. organic waste such as biowaste, anaerobic digestate and dried sewage sludge) are to be disposed of and used with the help of a combination of different technologies. In a newly developed large-scale plant they will be converted into sustainable biofuels, green hydrogen and biochar.
energy from renewable sources is the key to mitigating climate change
EU target: 10 percent of energy used in transport should come from renewable sources
First-generation biofuels ("biodiesel") are ecologically and socially unsustainable because the cultivation of energy crops competes with food production
There is a need for the market introduction of advanced biofuels using lignocellulosic biomass
Biochemical processes such as fermentation are too slow and are poorly suited for residual and waste materials because they have a mixed composition and low cellulose content
Thermochemical processes such as gasification and pyrolysis are more flexible in terms of the feedstock, but can so far only be carried out cost-effectively in large central plants
Objectives in the project
Demonstration of the technical feasibility and cost competitiveness of the bioenergy value chains TCR-> PSA-> HDO
Production of green hydrogen and green diesel and gasoline equivalents from sewage sludge
Validation of the logistical advantages of integrated small-scale hydrogen separation and purification (PSA) and HDO modules with the TCR unit compared to the central petrochemical infrastructure.
Contribution to the objectives of the Renewable Energy Directive for renewable energies by validating waste raw materials for the production of fuels.
Showcase for future sustainable investment and economic growth across Europe
Development of a business case, LCA and dissemination of the results