Project on the upgrading of sustainable high-quality hydrocarbons
The GIZ project started addresses the synthesis of sustainable feedstocks, fuels and waxes. For this purpose, a process chain including three process step is considered including the water electrolysis, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) and the upgrading of the liquid hydrocarbons produced. The electrolysis and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis will be provided by the Fraunhofer Institute IKTS Dresden in an accompanying project, whereas the upgrading process is part of our R&D activities. The basic idea of the overall project follows the power-to-liquid concept, which implies the production of sustainable chemicals, fuels and waxes from biogenic CO2 and H2. The hydrogen is originated from the electolysis of water, which is powered by "green energy sources" such as wind (wind turbines) and sun (photovoltaics).
The intended upgrading strategy of the liquid FTS products consists of destillation and hydrogenation processes. The distillation separates gasoline, jet and diesel fuel as well as high-boiling fuel oil fractions. By contrast, the hydrogenation and/or hydroisomerization of the distilled hydrocarbon fractions as well as wax fractions is made to upgrade the liquid FTS products towards their use as chemicals, fuels or waxes.
Furthermore, an experimental research study is carried out dealing with the optimization of catalysts and operation conditions for the FTS process. These investigations are necessary to ensure the efficient upgrading of the liquid product fractions according to the specifications of gasoline, diesel and jet fuels and to gain high quality waxes useful for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Since FTS products are multi-component mixtures with various chemical properties, different upgrading technologies need to be addressed to produce high value products.