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Sunfire - BMBF research project

Sunfire - Producing fuels from CO2 and H2O using renewable energy: The research project focuses on the development of high-temperature electrolysers and subsequent Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of liquid fuels from hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

BMBF research project Sunfire
Link to the research project and the industrial partner Sunfire:

Project data

Project: Sunfire
Sponsor: BMBF
Duration: 3 years, beginning May 1st, 2012

Project objectives

The aim is to develop an innovative method in which CO2 and H2O is converted in fuels (gasoline, diesel, kerosene, methanol, methane) by means of renewable energy through the use of highly efficient high-temperature steam electrolysis with an energy efficiency of expected 70%.

Main contents of the project are

  1. the development of the high-temperature steam electrolysis under pressure (SOEC)
  2. the study of the reverse water-gas shift reaction (RWGS) to activate the CO2
  3. the construction of a test facility
  4. the validation of the method under real conditions and
  5. the ecological balancing of the entire value chain

Projec partners

  • EIfER European Institute for Energy Research
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEK-1
  • Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research, Institute of Chemical Technology
  • KERAFOL Ceramic tapes GmbH
  • staxera GmH
  • SunFire GmbH
  • University of Bayreuth, Chair of Chemical Process Engineering
  • University of Stuttgart, Chair of Building Physics

Project work

In this project Forschungszentrum Jülich focuses on the development of long-term stable electrolysis cells based on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. At Forschungszentrum Jülich own SOFC concepts have been developed in the last 15 years which have been designed for different fields of application and operating temperatures. The previous SOFC work at Forschungszentrum Jülich include all areas of materials development, manufacturing, engineering, simulation, stack construction and various test and inspection methods of the cells. Within this project commercial cells are developed with electrolyte substrates, to ensure a very low aging rate and thus a cost-efficient electrolysis operation. For this purpose the existing skills regarding electrode optimisation are also suitable for such high-temperature cells. Especially for the electrolysis mode, changes of the electrode structure and a firm understanding of the material changes are to be developed in order to define, if necessary, material, procedural or technical system solutions for a stable long-term operation.

Contacts Forschungszentrum Jülich

Dr. Frank Tietz: