MICHAEL KRETSCHMER ZU GAST BEI CAC, UM DIE CHANCEN SYNTHETISCHER KRAFTSTOFFE BEI DER ERREICHUNG DER KLIMAZIELE ZU DISKUTIEREN (FOTO: ©SCHMERLER/CAC)
Chemnitz, 11/08/2020: On 10/08/2020 the Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, took up the invitation of Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz GmbH (CAC) to find out about synthetic fuels as an opportunity for the swift implementation of climate goals. CAC has developed a market-ready process to generate CO2-neutral gasoline (E-fuels) comprising only carbon dioxide, green electricity and water - completely without fossil fuels.
The opportunities that this technology can offer motor vehicle manufacturers, refineries, industry and ultimately climate protection within the shortest of times were discussed by Michael Kretschmer and representatives of Saxony industry at CAC, supported by the council of economic advisers of the CDU. Open to future-capable innovations, the premier was impressed by the progress made with the CAC technology, stating: “I can see the advantages that the synthetic gasoline offers, as it can be used to power any existing gasoline engine with no conversion required.”
The experts from the car industry, science and politics agreed that the ambitious goals of the EU Commission concerning climate neutrality by 2050 can only be achieved by embracing new technologies, but not through E-mobility alone. Various different forms of power are called for, depending on the benefits offered and areas of use. The electric car makes sense for urban travel of up to around 50 kilometres per day, whilst the amount of space required for fuel cells makes these better suited to larger vehicles. For all cars between these two options there is currently no climate-friendly solution available. “Synthetic gasoline can close this gap by being blended with existing fuel or even replacing it completely. The climate goals set by the federal government can be reached immediately, the existing infrastructure with filling stations can continue to be used and each of the 30 million gasoline engines in Germany alone can be powered with more climate-friendly gasoline,” says Joachim Engelmann, managing director of CAC. “It can be used immediately, with no extra effort required, we just need to build the plant.” A further key incentive called for is the crediting of the fuel to the fleet consumption of the German car manufacturers. A policy framework needs to be established for this. The currently higher costs compared to standard gasoline can be reduced further by larger plants with higher capacity, facilitated by tax incentives. In the short term, blending with standard gasoline at a rate of 14 percent can satisfy the requirements of the renewable energy directive (RED II).
There was a critical discussion of the stability of the German climate protection strategy with regard to the situation in China. A pioneer in battery-powered propulsion, this year the Chinese government undertook a partial about-turn in favour of combustion engines. Prime Minister Kretschmer took numerous ideas and arguments back to Dresden with him, with the intention of providing political support for these in the future. He also sees a further positive step in the development of synthetic kerosene, which CAC is also successfully working on in a parallel development.
E-fuels as an opportunity for climate-neutral mobility
After over ten years of intensive research work on the part of CAC, the Chemnitz-based engineers have developed a process for the generation of CO2-neutral gasoline (E-fuels). Both the quality of the gasoline and the technical plant design enable realisation on a large industrial scale, thereby achieving the sustainability goals of the EU (RED II) with immediate effect.
The most important process stage in the manufacturing chain is the transformation of the methanol extracted from carbon dioxide and hydrogen into gasoline. In the demonstration plant at TU Bergakademie Freiberg CAC produced more than 16,000 litres of the green gasoline in October 2019. The demonstration plant is already capable of producing 100 litres per hour. Filled and sent to car manufacturers for fleet trials, the practical applicability of the fuel has been confirmed. The goal is to produce one million tonnes of synthetic gasoline by 2030.
More information on CAC’s synthetic fuel: www.cac-synfuel.com/en
TV report in ARD FAKT, 11/08/2020: https://www.mdr.de/investigativ/fakt-kraftstoff-klimaneutral-100.html