Federal Ministry


The named scientific works are funded by the following establishments:

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMWi)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Ministerium für Innovation, Wissenschaft und Forschung des Landes NRW (NRW)

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Selected scientific works:
  • Zukunftscluster Wasserstoff - "Innovation nucleus of the hydrogen economy (Implementation phase 1)"
    • HylnnoICE - Development of a vehicle with highly innovative hydrogen combustion engine (HyInnoICE)

    • HylnnoPEM - Mobile drives with future-oriented fuel cell systems (HyInnoPEM)

    • HylnnoSys - Innovation-supporting measures for market preparation, networking and technology and knowledge transfer (HyInnoSys)

    • HylnnoSOFC - High-temperature fuel cells with flexible fuel utilization for self-sufficient energy supply (HyInnoSOFC)

  • GINI - "Robot for flexible automatic charging of electric vehicles"
  • Carbon2Chem - "Carbon2Chem-2 L-4: C2+ alcohols, C2+ oIefine, synthetic fuel components"

Completed projects:

  • Methanolstandard – "Investigation of the technical basis for the standardization of methanol fuels in Europe"
  • GNOSIS – "Holistic evaluation of electric flying"
  • Methcar – " Joint project: MethCar – Methane engines for passenger cars
    Subproject: Injector robustness and exhaust gas catalysis as a function of fuel composition"
  • C3-Mobility – "Closed Carbon Cycle – Mobility: Climate neutral fuels for traffic of the future"
  • Leimot – "Lightweight-Engine: Weight reduction of an internal combustion engine by utilizing a purposefully structural optimization and using metal- plastic hybrid components"
  • X-EMU – "Development and Validation of a High-Performance Fuel Cell Propulsion System for Hybrid EMU railcars in a Modular Traction Design System"
  • P2X Kopernikus – "Oxymethylenether: Fuels and polymers based on CO2 and hydrogen"
  • XME-Diesel – "xME-Diesel – (Bio-) Methyl ethers as alternative fuels for the bivalent Diesel operation"
  • VARIMOT – "Variable systems to increase the efficiency of gasoline engines with small displacement"
  • GreenREx-BETRIEB – "Development of a bio-gas-powered Range Extender"
  • Anfahrt – "Alternative commercial vehicle drive trains for trucks and busses – clean and energy efficient road transportation“
  • BREEZE – "BREEZE! Fuel Cell Range Extender for Electric Vehicles: Zero Emission! "

  • TEAM – "Development of technologies for energy efficient drive trains of mobile power engines"
  • Europa Hybrid PlugIn - "Entwicklung eines elektrischen Antriebs für ein rückspeisefähiges PlugIn-Hybridfahrzeug mit optimiertem Batteriemanagement und niedrigem Verbrauch"


  Logo Zukunftscluster Wasserstoff
Title Innovation nucleus of the hydrogen economy (Implementation phase 1)
Acronym Zukunftscluster Wasserstoff
Funding Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – Clusters4Future

Hydrogen (H2), as a carbon-free energy carrier, offers the immediate potential to build a CO2-neutral energy economy. By converting from and to renewable electricity via electrolysis and fuel cells, hydrogen offers a sustainable solution for a wide range of mobility, residential and industrial applications. As an energy carrier and storage medium, hydrogen can be used directly for sector coupling.

For these reasons, hydrogen is currently the focus of national and international sustainability efforts. In Germany, numerous support measures are in place to activate the market. The cluster for future hydrogen intends to continuously feed these with technical innovations. To achieve this, however, the "Valley of Death" must be overcome, which is the area of medium technology maturity that is no longer supported by basic research but is not yet sufficiently mature for series development.

The cluster for future hydrogen solves this challenge by means of networking. In this way, individual technical projects are linked to form an overall picture, thereby achieving multiplier effects. The interdisciplinary and cross-application work brings together research, industry and society. This creates a regional innovation nucleus that makes an innovative contribution to the whole of Germany.

The cluster for future hydrogen pursues the goal of utilizing and strengthening networks and creating a model region for the production, distribution, storage and use of hydrogen: "Hydrogen technologies made in Germany" is to stand for outstanding, innovative cutting-edge technologies worldwide.

The Chair of Thermodynamics of Mobile Energy Conversion Systems (TME) is part of the projects HyInnoPEM on fuel cells for mobile propulsion, HyInnoSOFC on fuel cells for combined heat and power generation, HyInnoICE on the hydrogen internal combustion engine and HyInnoSys on innovation support measures.

Period 10/2021 - 09/2024





Development of a vehicle with highly innovative hydrogen combustion engine

Acronym HyInnoICE

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – Clusters4Future

Projectnumber 03ZU1115GA

In order to achieve the CO2 targets in the EU and in Germany, the share of renewable energy sources in the transport sector will increase. Regeneratively produced hydrogen (H2) offers great potential to enable CO2-neutral solutions for mobile applications in road transport as well as for off-highway applications. In addition to its use in fuel cells, H2 can also be used for engines and thus support further market introduction as an energy carrier for mobility on the demand side. The aim of the HyInnoICE project is therefore to demonstrate the feasibility of a highly innovative H2 combustion engine on the basis of a vehicle demonstrator with a performance comparable to that of today's series-produced vehicles, while at the same time achieving the lowest possible NOx emissions. For this purpose, different technology components, whose degree of maturity has only improved significantly in recent years, are being combined for the first time and supplemented by novel control concepts. Accordingly, a holistic approach consisting of experiments at various levels and simulations is being pursued. Parallel to the development of the powertrain, one work package is dedicated to the efficient storage of hydrogen in novel tank systems.

Consisting of an OEM, a supplier, a development service provider and four scientific partners, the consortium covers the entire research range up to the consideration of all series aspects and ensures a holistic view of the novel powertrain. Within the framework of this project, RWTH is responsible for the fundamental investigations of the novel combustion process and optimizes the efficiency and emissions. In addition, new, dedicated functionalities and control concepts for the innovative H2 combustion engine are being developed and implemented on a prototype control unit, calibration on the test bench is being developed and vehicle tests are being accompanied.


01.10.2021 – 30.09.2024





Mobile drives with future-oriented fuel cell systems

Acronym HyInnoPEM

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – Clusters4Future

Projectnumber 03ZU1115EC

The research project HyInnoPEM is part of the Clusters4Future “Hydrogen” which consists of eleven projects covering a comprehensive overview of hydrogen generation, storage, distribution and usage in mobile and stationary applications. The cluster aims to build strong local networks in the region of Aachen and Jülich to combine extraordinary research with influential industrial partners working on hydrogen related technologies. As a part of the Clusters4Future “Hydrogen”, HyInnoPEM covers the electricity generation with low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells for mobile applications. Besides four Chairs of the RWTH Aachen University the industrial partners EKPO, Pierburg and FEV support the project and thus connect scientific research with industrial insights to ensure a quick assertion of the project results on the market.

One of the major obstacles for a wide spread use of PEM Fuel Cells in mobile applications is the high expanses driven by a short lifetime of the stack as well as the system components. A fuel cell system model which is capable of describing the system dynamics will be developed and validated by measurement data. In a second step the model will be extended by a degradation module, which will be examined during a special transient load cycle operation on a test bench at the TME. The project allows to develop of a model predictive control, which shall provide highly dynamic operation while considering the modeled degradation. With predictive maintenance strategies and with an extended lifetime, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of PEM Fuel Cells can decrease to a competitive level. The project thus contributes to enable the economical use of hydrogen technology in mobile applications of the future.


01.10.2021 – 30.09.2024





Innovation-supporting measures for market preparation, networking and technology and knowledge transfer

Acronym HyInnoSys

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – Clusters4Future

Projectnumber 03ZU1115KA

In addition to the targeted development of technology, technological change always requires parallel activities in the areas of business, society and (economic) institutions that create the framework conditions for change and prepare the market. The measures accompanying innovation should help to fully develop the effect of the Future Cluster by creating framework conditions through which research is converted into added value. This is to be done using modern innovation management instruments such as participatory involvement of citizens and other stakeholders. Possibilities for action for politics, social actors and companies are to be derived. It is the declared goal to enable the transfer of knowledge into and out of the region as well as across cluster borders into other funded projects and to enable the transfer of technology into industry and between sectors.

Within the HyInnoSys project, the hydrogen economy is examined from various perspectives. These include the ecological, economic, societal, political and technological perspectives. TME organizes the Aachen Hydrogen Colloquium as part of the project. Scientific results from all areas of the hydrogen economy are presented there and new research questions are discussed. In this way, it contributes directly to the networking of the players.


01.10.2021 – 30.09.2024





High-temperature fuel cells with flexible fuel utilization for self-sufficient energy supply

Acronym HyInnoSOFC

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – Clusters4Future

Projectnumber 03ZU1115FB

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) are an interesting application for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) production due to their high efficiencies but are typically fueled by natural gas. Due to the increasing availability of green hydrogen, the question arises to what extent the SOFC can be operated flexibly with different fuels. Together with the EON Energy research center of RWTH Aachen University, IEK-14 from Forschungszentrum Jülich and our industry partner Sunfire Fuel Cell GmbH, the consortium aims at developing a µ-CHP SOFC system capable of operating with a flexible hydrogen quantity in the fuel gas.

The baseline of the HyInnoSOFC project is a natural gas SOFC system available on the market. Within five work packages, the system will be adapted to an increased hydrogen mass content in the fuel gas. For this purpose, the consortium will investigate load profiles and ideal gas compositions to ensure an ecological and economical operation of the system. Subsequently, intake components such as the catalytic partial oxidation reformer (CPOX) and the desulfurization granulates will be adapted to an enriched hydrogen environment. With the load profiles defined and the intake components adapted an adaptive control strategy including the required sensors will be developed. Finally, the µ-CHP SOFC system will be subjected to exhaustive tests at TME to gain experimental insights and data into the adaptations and control strategy that was implemented. To this end, key performance parameters, such as the polarization curve, operating temperatures and degradation, as well as exhaust-gas composition are determined and evaluated. Based on the results of the exhaust-gas composition exhaust-gas-aftertreatment concepts will be developed and implemented by exploiting synergies with the in-house combustion engine research.

In parallel to the investigations on an existing SOFC a market research to determine suitable µ-CHP SOFC applications within the maritime sector and other heavy-duty applications, ensuring a holistic research approach will be conducted at TME.


01.10.2021 – 31.10.2024




Title Robot for flexible automatic charging of electric vehicles
Acronym GINI
Funding Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Projectnumber 1 01MV21019A

In the GINI research project, a smart, semi-autonomous mobile charging robot with fast charging technology and an inductive charging interface is being developed. In addition to the function for charging electrified vehicles in urban areas, the charging of e-bike sharing stations as well as data acquisition, pre-processing and analysis in a connected environment will also be enabled. This can make a significant contribution to the urgently needed expansion of cost-efficient, powerful and flexible charging infrastructure for electrified mobility solutions.

In total, two charging robots and e-bike sharing stations are to be set up in the project to demonstrate the possibilities of an intelligent charging infrastructure and to allow more grid-oriented charging. The test vehicles developed in this context are to be approved in order to illustrate their feasibility for small-scale production and the market. Prior to this, findings from extensive tests under conditions close to the application will be incorporated into the development. The continuously collected data can also be used across projects and provide valuable insights into users, demand and acceptance.

Period 01.09.2021 - 31.08.2024


  Carbon2Chem Logo

Carbon2Chem-2 L-4: C2+ alcohols, C2+ oIefine, synthetic fuel components

Acronym Carbon2Chem

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Projectnumber 03EW0008D

Carbon2Chem® is an initiative that started in 2016 under the direction of Thyssen Krupp. Numerous industrial companies, together with Max Planck and the Fraunhofer Society as well as universities are working together with the aim of producing valuable primary products for fuels, the plastics industry or fertilizers from carbon dioxide, an unavoidable by-product of steel production. The first phase of the project that ended in May 2020 focused on the development of sustainable processes with the emphasis on technical feasibility and economic efficiency. In the upcoming second phase the aim is the validation of the developed processes for industrial standards. This should ultimately lead to low-emission steel production. For this purpose, TME is investigating the influence of the developed fuels on the efficiency and pollutant emissions when used in combustion engines.

Period 01.06.2020 – 31.05.2024