Electric mobility will revolutionise the automotive industry. Even though this development is already foreseeable today, conventional combustion engines are still by far the best-selling models. Intensive research is currently being undertaken in electric mobility in Germany and abroad. However, high costs, short ranges and the necessary expansion of a charging infrastructure are still obstacles preventing a large-scale market launch.
In order to enable combustion engines to achieve long-term mobility, two Berlin-based companies and their scientific partners are currently researching ways of producing alternative fuels. The technology company Graforce has already developed a cost-efficient method of producing hydrogen using plasma analysis. In the Combifuel project, which has received funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy since 2019, an alternative fuel is now being developed. The mixture of hydrogen and biogas produces hythane, which can be used in converted combustion engines. Graforce’s partner is Berliner Wasserbetriebe, which operates sewage treatment plants and biogas plants in Berlin.
The big advantage of renewable fuels is their ability to significantly reduce emissions by 30 - 60% compared to conventional fuels. Since this kind of fuel can be used in converted cars, it is also possible for combustion engines to be part of the energy transition. The biogas comes from a water company, the hydrogen is regeneratively produced from the wastewater of these biogas plants. A positive side effect is that the wastewater, which according to the latest EU regulations may in future no longer be used as a fertilizer in agriculture, is now being purified. The first pilot facility with a filling station is currently being built in a technology park in Berlin.