Institut für Katalyseforschung und -technologie (IKFT)

General information

The Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT) at KIT is concerned with developing alternative fuels, whereby catalytic processes and using renewable resources play a central role. An efficient infrastructure, ranging from small laboratory plants to pilot plants, is available for this purpose.

The IKFT is also developing fast pyrolysis for the use of ash-rich biomass. The challenge here is to obtain products from different input materials that meet sufficiently narrow specifications for industrial use.

Important skills, preliminary work and infrastructure

Production of pyrolysis oils from various biomasses, hydrogenation processing of various pyrolysis oil fractions, catalyst development, and testing in continuous process control. Operation of process development and pilot plant for pyrolysis.

In the planned project, KIT-IKFT will concentrate on converting DME to olefins and gasoline with a greatly reduced aromatics content. In addition, the oligomerization of olefins into fuel-grade hydrocarbons will be investigated.

High-performance laboratory facilities are available for both the conversion of DME and the oligomerization of olefins. These can be operated in batches or continuously.

Concerning the required analytics, numerous methods are available for characterizing the catalysts, e.g., spectroscopic methods, electron microscopy, physisorption, and chemisorption measurements for characterizing surfaces and thermal analysis, in particular thermogravimetry. To analyze the product mixtures, several methods are available for separating the mixtures, e.g. (online) gas chromatography.
In addition, many methods are available for determining the fuels’ physical/chemical and combustion properties.

Expected progress through the project

Technically validated concepts for using various biogenic residues to provide specified intermediate products and further processing into fuel components for synthetic fuels.

As the planned activities are directly linked to promising preliminary work, a significant optimization of the selected processes can be expected. The associated considerations regarding scale-up and economic efficiency should enable a well-founded evaluation of the processes. In addition to the scientific and technical progress, intensified cooperation with the partners is expected, possibly even beyond the project.






Projectcoordinator                Projectmanager

Nicolaus Dahmen                  Alexandra Böhm

The Ref4Fu project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport Affairs as part of the overall concept for renewable fuels. The funding guideline for the development of renewable fuels is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by the project sponsors VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH and the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. (Agency for Renewable Resources).