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16/08/2022 News

PtL pilot plant in Lusatia: What site is the most sustainable and economical?

Next phase of planning underway: In Jänschwalde-Drewitz, Schwarze Pumpe and Guben the feasibility of building a plant is being examined in detail.

In Lusatia, the construction and operation of a PtL pilot plant is possible at several locations. This was one of the main results of the study on the search for sites, which was presented in June 2022 by the " Arbeitsgemeinschaft PtL Lausitz" under the leadership of the PtX Lab Lausitz. The study concluded that at least ten sites are suitable in principle. Three of the possible sites – Jänschwalde-Drewitz, Schwarze Pumpe and Guben – were found to be particularly suitable. Important factors for the evaluation are not only the permissibility of such a plant but also the availability of land and raw materials on site.

The highest possible sustainability criteria are applied in the planning and construction of the plant. This has a decisive effect on the site selection. All three regions to be further investigated have different framework conditions, particularly with regard to the provision of CO2. This is needed as a raw material for the production of synthetic kerosene – but then escapes back into the atmosphere during combustion in the aircraft engine.

In order for the synthetic kerosene produced in the PtL demonstration plant to actually be obtained in a CO2-neutral way, the carbon dioxide must have been removed from the atmosphere in a temporal context beforehand. For an annual production of 10,000 tons of synthetic kerosene, therefore, not only is a large amount of CO2 needed, it must also be processed to the required purity. The development of this CO2 source as well as the supply of the plant with green hydrogen, renewable energy and the possibility of energy-efficient operation will be investigated at the three locations in the coming weeks. Based on this techno-economic analysis of the three most promising locations, the final selection will be made. Interested companies and bidding consortia had the opportunity to participate in the tender for this feasibility study until September 22.

"Lusatia not only offers potentially good conditions for the construction of PtL plants, we will also show that implementation and sustainable operation are possible," said Harry Lehmann, Head of PtX Lab Lausitz, on the current state of planning for the PtL plant. "With the detailed investigation of the technical and economic possibilities at the favoured sites, we are opening the next chapter in the planning process."  

About power-to-liquid processes and the planned pilot plant
In 2018, aviation was responsible for about three per cent of global CO2 emissions. For aviation to be greenhouse gas neutral, fossil fuel kerosene must be replaced with sustainable, greenhouse gas neutral alternatives. The use of synthetic fuels obtained from green hydrogen in the power-to-liquid (PtL) process is the most promising option here. The PtX Lab Lausitz is entrusted with implementing the construction and operation of a PtL demonstration plant that produces other liquid synthetic products from hydrogen. The plant is being built in Lusatia on the basis of the "Structural Strengthening of Coal Regions Act". With the construction of this plant, Lusatia can become a pioneer in the field of PtL technologies – and thus obtain important opportunities in the upcoming structural change.


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