Electrosynthesis

A department in the field of energy

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We develop and optimize electrochemical processes for the sustainable, CO2-neutral production of hydrogen and commodity as well as specialty chemicals – starting with the catalyst on a laboratory scale up to the pilot plant. Our services include the customer tailored development of materials and components for electrolysis processes as well as their integration into high performance electrolysis cells and stacks. We complement this with the development of technical concepts for the implementation of novel electrolysis processes as well as their evaluation. We are pioneers of sustainable electrolysis technologies and reliable companions for industries and business.

Our services

Green hydrogen production | CO2 utilizationElectrochemical synthesis of commodity and specialty chemicals | Bioelectrocatalytic processes

 

From basic research to industrial application

Why marketable concepts of catalysts, electrodes and cells are still in short supply – and what needs to change.

 

Electrolysis in industries and research

In the German-language interview, Ulf-Peter Apfel reports on the work of his group: The scientists are researching the production of green hydrogen and the question of how carbon dioxide can be turned into feedstock for the chemical industries.

Green hydrogen production

On the way to a green footprint: Energy transition with the smallest molecule

Green hydrogen is a key building block for a successful energy transition. It is used, for example, in the storage of renewably generated electricity and the climate-neutral design of industrial processes. We develop the core components of the water electrolyzers required for this – the electrolysis stacks – on the basis of sustainable, non-critical raw materials and innovative, economical cell concepts.

 

On new paths to the industrialization of electrolysis

Around 30 independent alliances are working in the H2Giga lead project. Their common goal is to bring electrolysers for hydrogen production into series production. Anna Grevé and Ulf-Peter Apfel provide insights into the "Design of Tomorrow" work package in this German-language interview.

 

Precious metal free catalysts

The search for catalysts free of precious metals is the focus of many scientists at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. David Tetzlaff, doctoral student in the Electrosynthesis department, provides insights into the research work in this German-language interview. 

Hydrogen

Scientists at Fraunhofer UMSICHT are working – together with other research institutions, industries and business – on solutions for the use of hydrogen.

CINES

The Cluster of Excellence Integrated Energy Systems CINES addresses the central technological and economic challenges of the energy transition. The aim is the system and market integration of high shares of variable renewable energies into the energy system.

CO2 Utilization

For the good of the climate: CO2 reduction at all levels

Gradually, CO2 emissions are being further limited by ever-stricter regulations. We are developing next-generation electrolysis technologies to close the carbon cycle in the medium term. With co-electrolysis –the simultaneous electrochemical conversion of CO2 and water – we enable the material utilization of CO2 from process gas streams or direct air capture processes for the production of CO2-neutral or negative base chemicals such as syngas, formic acid, ethylene, methanol or ethanol. We are happy to support you in the development and implementation of new co-electrolysis concepts to reduce your CO2 footprint.

 

Closing the carbon cycle via electrolysis

How can the performance of zero-gap electrolysers be increased with regard to CO2 reduction? Scientists from Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Ruhr-Universität Bochum and RWTH Aachen have addressed this question.

 

Using CO2 as a raw material

In the cement industry, carbon dioxide is an unavoidable by-product: it is formed when calcium carbonate is burned to calcium oxide and is subsequently released. As a result, the cement industry currently contributes to four to eight percent of global CO2 emissions. In the newly launched joint project "CO2-Syn," partners from industry and science are working on an alternative.

 

Electrochemical reduction of CO2

Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the Fritz Haber Institute and Fraunhofer UMSICHT have investigated the influence of supercritical carbon dioxide on the electrochemical reduction of CO2.

 

ElkaSyn

Energy-efficient electrosynthesis of alcohols

Power-to-x processes are needed to use CO2 as a sustainable raw material. ElkaSyn therefore focuses on a one-step process in which carbon dioxide and water are converted to methanol, ethanol, propanol and butanol.

Electrochemical synthesis of commodity and specialty chemicals

Chemistry from the power socket: Precise intervention in molecules

The majority of chemical syntheses in the manufacturing industries involve energy-intensive process conditions and expensive and environmentally harmful reagents. In contrast, organic electrosynthesis enables the sustainable design of many processes in the chemical industries by substituting renewable electricity for less sustainable redox reagents. Electrosynthesis processes are also characterized by exceptionally precise process control. With a suitable selection of materials and process conditions, almost any redox reaction can be electrified. We would be happy to advise you on the application of electrochemical processes in your chemical synthesis.

 

Producing chemical products sustainably

With his idea of using innovative materials for the electrocatalytic hydrogenation of organic chemicals, Dr. Daniel Siegmund applied to the "BMBF NanoMatFuture" competition for young scientists. Now the UMSICHT scientist and his group "H2Organic" can start their research.

 

Shaping the chemical industry sustainably

Defossilizing production chains and establishing circular, greenhouse gas-neutral material and energy conversion – the chemical industry has set itself ambitious goals in terms of sustainability. As of now, nine institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are providing support in this process: In the lead project ShaPID, they want to bundle their research activities for achieving the sustainability goals and at the same time strengthen their relationships with the industry. 

 

Talking Energy

Dr. Daniel Siegmund on the use of renewable energies for the electrochemical production of chemical substances. 

Bioelectrocatalytic processes

Biotechnology meets electrodes: Electrolysis in harmony with nature

Nature has already established efficient processes for a wide variety of chemical processes. For example, chemical redox reactions can already be carried out industrially with the aid of enzymes and microorganisms. However, the complexity of the resulting system places high demands on the materials used, process parameters and product preparation. The continuous, circular regeneration of biological redox equivalents is ensured here by highly efficient electrodes, eliminating the need for expensive reagents and improving atomic efficiency. We facilitate your entry into biotechnological production solutions by providing expert advice and customized development and evaluation of novel technical solutions.