Chemical energy storage

The success of the turnaround in energy policy, in the course of which power generation from renewable energies in Germany is to be constantly expanded, depends on an extension of the power networks; however, new technologies are also required to store surplus energy. Thus energy storage systems insure a rapid balancing out of grid loads and make electrical energy available again at a later point in time. In addition to battery storage, chemical energy storage systems can also provide an effective solution.

 

Center for Energy Storage

As a competent partner for industry, municipalities and politicians, the"Center for Energy Storage" develops key technologies for chemical and thermal energy storage. The Center is a collaboration of BioCat branch of Fraunhofer IGB and the Sulzbach-Rosenberg division of Fraunhofer UMSICHT. The focus of BioCat is the development of processes for the production of liquid and solid chemical energy carriers using electrical energy.

 

Cascade processes for conversion of CO2

Fraunhofer IGB Biocat focuses its work on the development of new combined chemical-biotechnological technologies for the conversion of CO2 and energy into fuels and chemicals. An example of an integrated technology is the recently patented process for combined electrochemical and biotechnical CO2 conversion.

 

Screening of heterogeneous catalysts

For the synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide and electrolytically produced hydrogen, two processes for catalyst synthesis were optimized at the BioCat branch of IGB. Various reactor systems are available for the subsequent screening of the catalysts regarding their performance.

Reference projects

eleMeMe – Decentralized decoupling of power generation and energy supply

Project duration: March 2017 – February 2020

In the joint project eleMeMe, a new electrochemical process for methanol production will be developed and combined with a methanol fuel cell. With this concept the spatially and temporally independent decoupling of power generation and energy consumption in small as well as large scale applications should be demonstrated with Methanol as energy carrier.

CELBICON – Cost-effective carbon dioxide conversion into chemicals via combination of Capture, ELectrochemical and Biochemical CONversion technologies  

Project duration: March 2016 – January 2020

CELBICON aims at the development new CO2-to-chemicals technologies by conjugating CO2 capture, electrochemical CO2 conversion into intermediates and fermentation of these intermediates into value added chemicals.

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Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project "Electricity as a Raw Material"

Duration: August 2015 – September 2018

The energy transition in Germany is in full swing. Renewable energy sources contributed 24 percent of the 630 TWh of electrical power generated in 2013. Their proportion is estimated to climb to 80 percent by 2050, while at the same time greenhouse gas emissions are expected to fall to 80 percent of the comparative 1990 figures. The associated expansion of wind power and photovoltaics will result in a considerably increasing rise of power available from fluctuating energy sources. As an industrialized country, Germany is confronting the pressing question of whether and how the expected excess in the electrical grid can be coupled cost-effectively to energy-intensive manufacturing operations.