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Engler-Bunte-Ring 7
76131 Karlsruhe 

Building number 40.13.I 

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Bachelor- and Masterthesis

Current proposals for topics of bachelor- and master thesis you find on the following page.
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In the transport sector as well as in power generation, combustion systems are used nowadays primarily to convert chemical energy locked up in fuels into the useful energy wanted. Since the burning of fossil fuels is one of the major causes of human-generated carbon dioxide, steps to reduce CO2 and thus lower fuel consumption have meanwhile become a permanently established element in the technical development of combustion systems. Investigations to improve energy utilisation and achieve this technically are carried out as current focal points of research.

A brief introduction to the damaging effects of carbon dioxide on the climate can be viewed at the German Federal Environment agency, Berlin.


Within this research focus the following research projects are associated:

Advanced direct biogas fuel processor for robust and cost-effective decentralised hydrogen production
BioROBURplus builds upon the closing FCH JU BioROBUR project (direct biogas oxidative steam reformer) to develop an entire pre-commercial fuel processor delivering 50 Nm3/h (i.e. 107 kg/d) of 99.9% hydrogen from different biogas types (landfill gas, anaerobic digestion of organic wastes, anaerobic digestion of wastewater-treatment sludges) in a cost-effective manner. The energy efficiency of biogas conversion into H2 will exceed 80% on a HHV basis, due to the following main innovations:
  • increased internal heat recovery enabling minimisation of air feed to the reformer based on structured cellular ceramics coated with stable and easily recyclable noble metal catalysts with enhanced coking resistance;
  • a tailored pressure-temperature-swing adsorption (PTSA) capable of exploiting both pressure and low T heat recovery from the processor to drive H2 separation from CO2 and N2;
  • a recuperative burner based on cellular ceramics capable of exploiting the low enthalpy PTSA-off-gas to provide the heat needed at points 1 and 2 above.
Design option for the BioRoburplus off-gas burner

The complementary innovations already developed in BioROBUR (advanced modulating air-steam feed control system for coke growth control; catalytic trap hosting WGS functionality and allowing decomposition of incomplete reforming products; etc.) will allow to fully achieve the project objectives within the stringent budget and time constraints set by the call. Prof. Debora Fino, the coordinator of the former BioROBUR project, will manage, in an industrially-oriented perspective, the work of 11 partners with complementary expertise: 3 universities (POLITO, KIT, SUPSI), 3 research centres (IRCE, CPERI, DBI), 3 SMEs (ENGICER, HST, MET) and 2 large companies (ACEA, JM) from 7 different European Countries. A final test campaign is foreseen at TRL 6 to prove targets achievement, catching the unique opportunity offered by ACEA to exploit three different biogas types and heat integration with an anaerobic digester generating the biogas itself.


Innovative large-scale energy STOragE technologies AND Power-to-Gas concepts after Optimisation

The “STORE&GO” project will demonstrate three “innovative Power to Gas storage concepts” at locations in Germany, Switzerland and Italy in order to overcome technical, economic, social and legal barriers. The demonstration will pave the way for an integration of PtG storage into flexible energy supply and distribution systems with a high share of renewable energy. Using methanation processes as bridging technologies, it will demonstrate and investigate in which way these innovative PtG concepts will be able to solve the main problems of renewable energies: fluctuating production of renewable energies; consideration of renewables as suboptimal power grid infrastructure; expensive; missing storage solutions for renewable power at the local, national and European level. At the same time PtG concepts will contribute in maintaining natural gas or SNG with an existing huge European infrastructure and an already advantageous and continuously improving environmental footprint as an important primary/secondary energy carrier, which is nowadays in doubt due to geo-political reasons/conflicts. So, STORE&GO will show that new PtG concepts can bridge the gaps associated with renewable energies and security of energy supply. STORE&GO will rise the acceptance in the public for renewable energy technologies in the demonstration of bridging technologies at three “living” best practice locations in Europe.


Within this research focus in the past the following research projects were associated:

Cost-effective CO2 conversion into chemicals via combination of Capture and Electrochemical and Biochemical Conversion
The conversion of CO2 into valuable chemicals or fuels by the use of renewable hydrogen will become a strategic goal in the next decades. It will entail not only the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also the generation of renew­able compounds to be used instead of fossil ones. In this context, the EU-funnded project CELBICON (Cost-effective CO2 conversion into chemicals via combination of Capture, ELectrochemical and BIochemical CONversion technologies) aims at the development of new CO2-to chemicals technologies capable of operating at small scale with high efficiency as especially most of the renewable energy sources are decentralized.


The CELBICON- Process, as shown in the figure above, includes the Capture of atmospheric CO2, its conversion into synthesis gas in an Electro-catalytic reactor along with electricity and the subsequent Bio-technological conversion followed by a downstream processing into the final product (for example isoprene or bioplastics)

The part of KIT in the CELBICON project is the realization an energy efficient supply of the feedstock of the electro-catalytic reactor, which consists of a water/CO2 solution at elevated temperature and pressure. As the energy required for the dissolution of CO2 in water is dominated by the work needed to compress the gaseous CO2, a new method of compressing and dissolving simultaneously will be investigated by KIT on the grounds of recent developments.

AP2000 Klärung der Trennmechanismen
(METPORE II - Nanostrukturierte, metallgetragene Keramikmembranen für die Gastrennung in fossilen Kraftwerken)