The Fuel Science Center - Adaptive conversion systems for renewable energy and carbon sources.

  Copyright: © RWTH

In view of global climate change, CO2-neutral forms of energy away from fossil raw material sources are of immense importance to society as a whole. One possibility to provide climate-neutral energy for automotive applications are bio-hybrid fuels, which are produced either on the basis of biological resources or with the help of other carbon sources and regenerative energy. In order to select fuels from the almost infinite number of possible molecules that meet both environmental and technical requirements, methods are being developed in the Cluster of Excellence "The Fuel Science Center (FSC)" to identify optimal fuel candidates.

Benefit Procedure

CO2-neutral mobility

Development of measurement methods for determining material data under high pressure and at high temperatures

Emission-minimized combustion systems

Support of project partners in the determination of physical material data

Simple energy storage by liquid energy carriers with high energy density

Investigation of the media compatibility of bio-hybrid fuels and components such as seals and fuel lines



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Non fossil liquid energy sources

The increasing availability of non-fossil energy technologies opens unprecedented possibilities to re-design the interface of energy and material value chains towards a sustainable future. The fundamental research in the Cluster of Excellence “The Fuel Science Center – Adaptive Conversion Systems for Renewable Energy and Carbon Sources” (FSC) aims to integrate renewable electricity with the joint utilization of bio-based carbon feedstocks and CO2 to provide high-density liquid energy carriers (“bio-hybrid fuels”), which enable innovative engine concepts for highly efficient and clean combustion. FSC will generate fundamental knowledge as well as novel scientific methodologies to replace today’s fossil fuel-based static scenario by adaptive production and propulsion systems that are based on renewable energy and carbon resources under dynamic system boundaries.


Minimized emissions by molecularly controlled combustion systems

Current research on renewable fuels is focused on fuel replacements for present-day engine technology that are either biofuels from non-food biomass or e-fuels from CO2 capture and utilization. FSC goes far beyond this approach by defining the scientific basis for the development of bio-hybrid fuels through integrated design of production and propulsion systems. The targeted technologies are adaptive to anticipate the increasing diversification of energy supply and carbon feedstock availability for a mobility sector in transformation. The (electro‑)catalytic production of fuels as well as chemicals is envisaged as an important enabler for flexible and economic value chains. Molecularly controlled combustion systems are targeted to maximize efficiency and minimize emissions during the recovery of the chemically stored renewable energy. Methodological approaches will be developed to assess and ultimately predict the environmental impact, economic viability, and societal relevance of the technical developments.


Interdisciplinary Research

FSC strengthens disciplinary competences in natural sciences, engineering sciences, and social sciences and converges them in a dynamic team science approach. Forward-integration occurs from fundamental science to the complex systems of fuel production, mobility, and transportation. Simultaneously, system-level information is propagated back by inverse methodologies to enable an integrated molecular and machine design.

FSC capitalizes on achievements of the Cluster of Excellence ”Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass (TMFB)“ to act as a structuring element at RWTH Aachen University and its partner institutions. Together with the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the two Max Planck Institutes at the Campus Mülheim, a world-class research environment will be established, which is embedded in a network of strategic partnerships with globally leading research institutions and companies.


Research focus of ifas

Within the framework of the FSC, novel measurement methods for the determination of material properties under high pressure and at high temperatures are being developed at ifas. An example of this is the successful development and commissioning of a test rig for determining the gas solubility of bio-hybrid fuels under high pressure and at high temperatures.
In addition to the pure determination of material data, the test rig can also be used for the conditioning of fuel samples, which in turn - in line with the interdisciplinary character of the cluster - are used by our project partners within the FSC to determine the influence of dissolved gas on the engine process chain. In this context, for example, we are investigating how gas dissolved in the fuel affects nozzle flow, spray break-up and combustion.
Another ifas research focus within the FSC is the investigation of material compatibility between bio-hybrid fuels and sealing materials as well as other automotive components. Precisely because many of the promising fuels being researched in the FSC are chemically very aggressive, many conventional sealing materials fail at this point. The task of ifas is to identify and test possible alternatives.



Title Author(s)
A Method for Determining the Bunsen Coefficient of Bio-Hybrid Fuels
Journal Article (2021)
Hofmeister, Marius
Rambaks, Andris (Corresponding author)
Rückert, Marcel
Grunewald, Mathias Michael Engelbert
Reddemann, Manuel Armin
Kneer, Reinhold
Schmitz, Katharina
Bio-hybrid Fuels: From Molecular Structure to Combustion and Emissions
Abstract, Contribution to a conference proceedings (2020)
Deshmukh, Abhishek Yashwant (Corresponding author)
Davidovic, Marco
Grenga, Temistocle
Schumacher, Leif
Kirsch, Valeri
Palmer, Johannes
Reddemann, Manuel Armin
Hofmeister, Marius
Wildenberg, Alina
Jacobs, Sascha
vom Lehn, Florian Alexander
Cai, Liming
Ottenwälder, Tamara Sophia
Pischinger, Stefan
Leonhard, Kai
Heufer, Karl Alexander
Schmitz, Katharina
Kneer, Reinhold
Pitsch, Heinz


Copyright: © DFG

This research is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany´s Excellence Strategy – Exzellenzcluster 2186 „The Fuel Science Center”.


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