The Synfuel research project brings together electrolysis and thermal gasification, and can transform biomass and wind energy into ‘green’ methanol, which can be used as bunker fuel and, after upgrading, as a substitute for diesel and jet fuel.
Biomass and wind turbines are the main sources of renewable energy in Denmark – and both still hold considerable potential for significantly expanding production. When optimally located, wind energy is currently price competitive to fossil fuels, which makes it realistic to deploy many more wind turbines in the coming years. At the same time, Denmark has—in particular from forestry and agriculture—large volumes of surplus biological products, for example straw, which are currently only being used to a limited extent in energy production.
However, even though there are obvious possibilities for increasing production, use of the two energy sources has so far been limited, explains Professor Peter Vang Hendriksen from DTU Energy.
“It’s true of both wind energy and burning biomass that output in the form of power and heat is difficult to store and cannot be used for either air or maritime transport. Therefore, today we use fossil fuels almost exclusively in heavy transport, and also to a significant extent when making up the shortfalls in power supplies from wind. This in turn is making it difficult to achieve the goal of a carbon-neutral energy sector, and it is also a big challenge for the transport sector to live up to its share of the 70 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.”
Source: “New technology can produce sustainable fuel”, Technical University of Denmark