The Power Systems business unit of Rolls-Royce signed a letter of intent for the construction of a demonstration plant for the production of synthetic fuels in the German state of Brandenburg.
The research into green fuels will be carried out in the Lausitz region of eastern Germany together with the State of Brandenburg, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus and some industrial partners: the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the chemical company BASF, the Lufthansa Group and the electrolysis specialist Sunfire.
The agreement will bring about the set-up of a power-to-x competence centre at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and to construct a demonstration plant for the production of synthetic fuels and chemical substances using electric power generated in photovoltaic and wind power plants. As a former coal and chemical region, the Lausitz region has a wealth of expertise available that can be used to set up a power-to-x competence centre.
Rolls-Royce Power Systems business’ CEO, Andreas Schell, said: “Synthetic fuels are a decisive factor in energy transition and the use of renewable energies. They are an essential element in the urgently needed sector coupling – the close interconnecting of the individual parts of the energy system, such as electricity and mobility, for example, in addition to heating and cooling. In other words, we will be electrifying the entire system for propulsion and energy purposes, including the fuel, by producing it with renewable energies in a climate neutral manner.”
The power-to-x demonstration plant will make it possible to obtain information on the use of synthetic fuels for mobility on land, water and in the air, and on the generation of heat and power, and what the carbon footprint of such a process looks like. Rolls-Royce is interested in using synthetic fuels in gas and diesel engines and in aircraft engines, and also wishes to contribute its experience and expertise to the project as a provider of complete power generation solutions.
Dr. Petar Pelemis, head of Strategy and Product Management at the Rolls-Royce Power Systems business, added: “Power-to-x fuels not only replace fossil fuels, they can also be easily stored and transported. With such fuels, we will be able to provide propulsion and power generation on a CO2 neutral basis, as we outlined in our Green and High-Tech programme under the heading decarbonisation.”