Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Sustainability requirements analysis for synthetic fuel production technologies

Project description

Power-to-X technologies couple the energy sector with the transport sector, amongst others, by storing electricity from renewable sources in synthetic fuels. These can then be used to replace conventional fuels.

In the context of the transformation of the energy and transport sectors, Power-to-X technologies for the production of synthetic fuels are often mentioned and discussed controversially. Their potential contribution to more sustainable energy and transport systems strongly depends on the modelled conditions, e.g., the production location, the assumed electricity mix, the electricity costs, or the CO2 price. The assumed conditions are defined by scenarios. The scenarios show that, under these assumptions, the potential environmental impacts and production costs of the synthetic fuels are higher or lower than those of the reference.

The aim of this dissertation project is to explore the conditions and technological developments that lead to more sustainable fuels than current alternatives. In the process, ecological, economic, and societal aspects are considered.

As a starting point, a global energy system with possible developments until 2050 was modelled. Within this system, a dynamic benchmark for sustainability up to 2050 will be developed for conventional and innovative technologies under common conditions. This is followed by an assessment of when and how this benchmark can be reached.

Administrative data

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Advisor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Pfeifer
Related projects: reFuels, KEROGREEN
Doctoral students at ITAS: see Doctoral studies at ITAS


Manuel Andresh, M.Sc.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-22209