Biodiesel and bioethanol are by far the most important alternative sustainable fuels in Germany and the European Union, not only today, but also in the years ahead. In Germany alone, they contributed about 7.7 million t CO2 equivalent towards greenhouse gas reduction in 2017. These biofuels are also by far the most important alternative fuels for attaining national energy and climate protection targets in transport on a global scale. Their ever-increasing importance is reflected in the statutory framework conditions for increasing admixture levels in the USA, Brazil, Argentina, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia. As a basic precondition for market access, this biofuel or different fuel mixtures must fulfil requirements relating to engine systems and emission laws at the same time.
In light of this, comprehensive biofuel system research is essential as a market-associated measure so that anticipated potentially negative interactions of the fuels – not only with each other, but also with engine components – can be evaluated and eliminated. Approvals for different fuel mixtures determine the international or worldwide market development. While the relevant industry groups are implementing or have to implement the required statutory requirements under emissions law in the European Union, elsewhere political pressure is mounting to anchor technological concepts and biofuels in the market. Their market success is also established in the fact that this can be integrated comparatively easily in existing distribution systems and does not therefore lead to any additional investment costs or subsidies from tax revenues, in contrast to hydrogen technology or e-mobility.
In light of this, sustainable biofuels – optimised with greenhouse gases in mind – not only need to be developed further by systematic accompanying research, but also beyond this as a globally significant admixture component, while also examining synergy effects wherever possible. In view of the highly ambitious target time framework, climate protection measures cannot afford to dispense with existing and viable future options, especially in the transport sector that is continuing to grow globally. Against this background, scientists are presenting select research topics and results in the parallel forum “Biodiesel” of the 16th International Conference”, moderated by Dr Jürgen Krahl, Chairman of the UFOP Expert Commission “Biofuels and Renewable Resources”.
Dr Thomas Garbe, Volkswagen AG, explains in his presentation the significance of biodiesel as part of the solution for future mixed fuels. The focus here is on oxymethylene ether (OME), a renewable fuel that could play an increasing role in the renewable fuel mix long-term.Martin Kortschak from the Technology Transfer Center for Automotive Technology of Coburg University of Applied Sciences (TAC) discusses the influence of biofuels on emissions in conjunction with the so-called RDE test (Real Driving Emission) as an effective tool for fuel development.Dr Lukas Möltner, MCI Management Center Innsbruck, explains the consequences resulting from the ageing of biodiesel on oxidation mechanisms and engine usability and in the required countermeasures.The significance that the ageing process can have on various petrol and diesel fuels for black in-hybrid routes is outlined by Anja Singer from the TAC Coburg in her presentation.
In view of the international importance of biodiesel and bioethanol, it must be stressed that these research results are not only important for the German and European market, but are also of global interest because the engine requirements due to vehicle changes are also set to become stricter in key production and application countries in North and South America as well as in Asia. The Conference is therefore oriented towards all international research and industry groups interested in marketing as well as research and development in the field of biofuel production and application. The Conference offers an ideal platform for bringing science and industry together in this context.