DLR presents plans for world's largest PtL research facility

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is planning what it claims will be the world’s largest research facility for the production of liquid fuels using electricity (Power to Liquid, PtL). The »Technology Platform Power-to-Liquid Fuels« (TPP), for which DLR has now presented the plans, is to be built from 2024 on a five-hectare site at the Leuna Chemical Complex in Saxony-Anhalt. The planning phase is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) with up to €12.7 million ($13.4 million), while funds »in the mid three-digit million range« are to be approved by the end of this year for the research operation, which is initially planned to run until 2035.
The TPP will be used for the practical testing of large-scale fuel-production processes, particularly for aviation, but also for shipping and »ground-based transport.« The plant is to consist of a »research train« with a low capacity of up to 100 metric tons per year, which can be used flexibly for testing innovative technologies, and a »demonstration train«. The latter is to have an annual capacity of up to 10,000 metric tons. After hydrogen electrolysis powered by renewable sources (mainly wind and solar), the gas is enriched with CO2 from the air and from biogenic sources. Synthetic crude oil (Syncrude) is then produced in a process known as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The research platform will also optimize the further processing of syncrude into standard-compliant fuels.

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