Project Photofuel launched

Within the project, ITAS will investigate the sustainability of an innovative liquid algae-based fuel.

All production steps including the generation and cultivation of the algae strain up to the combustion of the final fuel product will be evaluated on ecological, economic and social level. The overall objective of Photofuel is to develop a new technology for the production of a solar fuel. The direct production of engine-ready fuel is expected to improve the energy efficiency of several steps along the value chain: by this strategy, energy-intensive cell harvesting is omitted and the existing infrastructure can be used. The impacts of this novel approach on fuel composition, engine performance, but also on humans and the environment will be assessed.

The 4-year (2015-2019) EU Horizon 2020 project is conducted by a joint industrial and academic research consortium that consists of an interdisciplinary team of engineers as well as natural and social scientists. The project is subdivided into seven work packages.

Ecological and economic impacts of the Photofuel technology will be analyzed and potential risks on society will be identified and assessed, led by ITAS in cooperation with IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN), VW and Volvo. One main objective is the elaboration of prospective LCA studies and comparing the Photofuel process to existing technologies of fuel production from fossil as well as biogenic resources. Another focus is on the sociological analyses of the perceptions of chances and challenges of the Photofuel technology. These analyses are carried out by carrying out stakeholder workshops. (21.01.2016)

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