greenfuel: Carbon-neutral energy source for the future

System Solution for Car Wash FacilitiesThe greenfuel pilot project by innogy SE is one of a kind in the world. The project creates carbon-neutral, liquid fuel for cars and boats from water, CO2 extracted from the air, and green electricity. At a visitor pavilion located on Lake Baldeney in Essen, innogy SE consciously offers the public information about the company’s innovative research and development project.

It is essential that we find alternatives to fossil fuel energy sources in order to reduce CO2 emissions in the long run. This is especially true for long-distance modes of transport, including ships, cars, airplanes and trucks. One option is to create green fuel produced using renewable energy sources. At Lake Baldeney in Essen, innogy SE, together with national and international partners, are showcasing a possible supply chain for renewable, liquid fuel.

Engine for progress:

• One-of-a-kind research and development project
• Technology demonstration project open to the public
• Producing and using a carbon-neutral fuel
• Renewable, liquid energy source to replace diesel and petrol

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Photo: KlimaExpo.NRW

Carbon-neutral fuel: Made from water, CO2 extracted from the air, and green electricity

Project greenfuel’s climate-friendly fuel is made from a mixture of methanol and water, and is produced directly at Lake Baldeney using an innovative, electro-biocatalytic process. Water, CO2 from the air, and a renewable source of electricity – in this case from the neighbouring hydroelectric power station – are the only necessary ingredients. The water is enriched with CO2 extracted from the ambient air and passed over electrodes coated with enzymes; a process that results in a liquid fuel with a high storage density. Another advantage of the fuel is that it can easily be incorporated into our current infrastructure (e.g. filling stations), as that is already geared towards liquid energy sources. The visitor pavilion offers the public the opportunity to learn more about power-based fuels and observe the entire production process taking place.

Experience the future of transportation on the MS innogy

As part of the project, a passenger boat in the “Baldeney White Fleet” has been equipped with an innovative methanol engine. A fuel cell converts the methanol-water mixture into electricity, which in turn powers a battery-buffered electric engine. The conversion that takes place in the fuel cell releases as much CO2 as is extracted from the air during the methanol synthesis process, making the entire process carbon neutral. Thus the public can experience riding a boat that is not only extremely quiet, but also completely pollution free. The MS innogy is the first boat in the world to use this innovative drive technology.

An electric car that stores energy

The green fuel can also be used to power a modified Nissan e-NV200 electric car. A fuel cell converts the fuel to electricity, which is being tested for use in two ways. The first scenario uses the electricity to recharge the car battery while driving, which boosts the electric car’s range. The other scenario allows the power generated in the fuel cell to be transferred to a specifically modified home via the car’s charging cable (Vehicle to Home), thus becoming an additional power supply. Combining photovoltaic cells, battery storage and an electric car connection can help homeowners become electrically self-sufficient.

Photo: innogy SE

"In showcasing the entire supply chain for green methanol in Essen, we hope to demonstrate what could become an important component for a climate-friendly energy supply in the future.”

Dr. Jens Kanacher, Head of Energy Systems, Markets & Storage der innogy SE

Partners and sponsors

  • innogy SE
  • Serenergy
  • Skytree
  • Nissan
  • Stadt Essen
  • Weisse Flotte Baldeney
  • Lux-Werft und Schifffahrt
  • Wuppertal Institut
  • Gensoric