Research plant for producing soot-free diesel replacements

Funding European Commission, ERA-Net Cofund ACT
Projectnumber 691712 / 271501

Thirty-one companies, research institutes and universities from five countries are working on the joint project ALIGN-CCUS to separate, use and store carbon dioxide. Europe has a unique CO2 research infrastructure, RWE Power’s Coal Innovation Centre in Niederaussem will play a vital role in this, exploring techniques for producing fuels and high-quality basic substances for the chemical industry from carbon dioxide.

RWE Power is contributing its CO2 pilot scrubbing unit as a test platform. It will serve as a source of carbon dioxide for the demonstration plant. The demonstration facility is scheduled to be commissioned in two years and following a test phase will produce low-emissions diesel replacement fuel for use in diesel engines.

The concept behind the ALIGN-CCUS project is important and more topical than ever, focussing on using carbon dioxide, water and electricity to obtain a diesel replacement fuel with minimised soot combustion and low nitrous oxide production.

The hydrogen obtained reacts with the CO2 provided in a synthesiser to create dimethyl ether (DME). The intention is for renewable sources to increasingly supply the required electricity, which will be stored chemically as fuel by this method.

The engines themselves would not have to be converted and catalyst systems and additives would be reduced. DME has to be pressurised in order to be stored therefore the injector systems and tanks would have to be modified.

Period 2017-2020