The successful implementation of the energy transition and the climate protection goals is one of the main challenges we face in the coming decades. Gas-based technologies derived from renewable energy sources are already an important means of achieving the energy transition. Together with electricity-based technologies, they can reduce CO2 emissions not only in terms of electricity generation and heating, but also with regard to transportation. Gas-based technologies are already well developed today and are used in various applications. However, until now their potential has hardly been tapped in the transport sector. For this reason, the MethQuest research project (“Methane from renewable sources in mobile and stationary applications”) is not only developing and refining processes for the generation of renewable gas, but is also developing new concepts for coupling the electricity, gas and heat infrastructures.

This cross-sector collaboration has the advantage that optimal use can be made of the existing resources and methane produced from renewable energy sources, so-called RE-methane, can be quickly introduced on the market. The focus of the research within MethQuest is on the use of environmentally-friendly methane in cars and ships as well as on the potential of power generation in microgrids for inland ports and seaports. Divided up into six joint projects, MethQuest brings together 27 partners from different disciplines. While the first four alliances are focusing on the production of RE-methane and engine development, the last two are concentrating on concrete applications. In the MethCar collaboration, for example, the researchers are looking into the use of optimised engines in motor vehicles. Similarly, the MethMare partners are seeking to reduce emissions from shipping by using innovative gas-driven engines. The overall coordination of MethQuest is being conducted by MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH and the DVGW research unit at the Engler Bunte Institute of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Launched in September 2018, the project has a total volume of €32 million and is receiving €19 million in funding from the BMWi over a period of three years.