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Issue 26, May 2012
bulletFueling Mobility in the Air and on the Ground 
bulletInterview: Joachim Buse, Vice President, Aviation Biofuel, Lufthansa
bulletFlight Path to Sustainable Aviation Fuels
bulletInnovation: Energy Created from Pond Scum: Photo Bioreactor for Algae Production
bulletShifting Gears: The EDAG "EDpowerdrive" Modular Electric Drive System for Commercial Vehicles
bulletBMW and Daimler Join Forces to Reinvent the Electric Car (TUM)
article1Fueling Mobility in the Air and on the Ground
Transportation accounts for more than 50% of oil usage worldwide. Recent and expected future growth in oil usage will largely come from increased transport activity. If drastic measures are not taken, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that fuel demand and CO2 emissions in the transport sector worldwide could double between 2010 and 2050.
In Germany, transport accounts for about 20% of all carbon dioxide emissions. The German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) introduced the Mobility and Fuel Strategy in June 2011, with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions as well as reducing transportation-related energy consumption by 40% by 2050. Among its activities, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting research funding for a gradual move toward rethinking the car in the sustainable mobility process. BMBF, therefore, supports research for the development of electric road vehicles, from hybrid concepts to fully electrically-powered cars.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air travel currently contributes 2% of manmade CO2 emissions and is expected to reach 5% by 2050. IATA's four pillar strategy addresses climate goals and has set the targets for the aviation industry: an annual average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% by 2020 to slow down the industry's CO2 emissions and cutting CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 50% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. In line with IATA's industry-wide goals, Lufthansa has already successfully tested the practical use of biofuel-powered flights. In the interview below, Lufthansa's Vice President for Aviation Biofuel, Joachim Buse, addresses the airline's commitment to sustainable mobility. 

Joachim Buse, Vice President, Aviation Biofuel, Lufthansa
article2Interview: Joachim Buse, Vice President, Aviation Biofuel, Lufthansa

In 2011, Lufthansa took the first steps to prove that biosynthetic fuel can be a viable option for operating commercial flights. After a six-month trial conducted on 1,187 Airbus A321 flights on Lufthansa's Hamburg-Frankfurt route, the German airline reduced CO2 emissions by 1,471 tons by using a 50% biofuel mix in one engine, while the other engine burned conventional kerosene. The burnFAIR research project culminated in a transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Washington DC in January 2012.

In this month's GCRI-Interview, Joachim Buse, who has been the head of Lufthansa's Corporate Aviation Biofuel Project since December 2009, discusses which biofuels have proven the most efficient in aviation and whether biofuel-powered flights will become the standard in the near future. To read the interview, click here.

Mr. Buse started with Lufthansa in 1986 as a Purchasing Manager for Cabin Interior Materials, then became Manager Aircraft Acquisition for Airbus Aircraft and later Head of Lufthansa's Fuel Contract Department within Lufthansa's Corporate Fuel Management. In 1996, he moved to AFS Aviation Fuel Services GmbH and became Managing Director of AFS with 13 Intoplane companies and fuel depots at German airports. He returned to Lufthansa in 2005 and became Chief Procurement Officer of Lufthansa Passenger Airline. Mr. Buse has been Vice Chairman of the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (AIREG) since June 2011. 

Photo: Ingrid Friedl / Lufthansa

Sustainable Aviation Fuels
article3Flight Path to Sustainable Aviation Fuels

The development of sustainable aviation fuels for future use is a critical enterprise for non-renewable energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gases. The new Platform for Sustainable Aviation Fuels was established by Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Lufthansa AG, and INOCAS, a company specializing in concepts for feedstock usage. These three partners will collaborate closely in the development of sustainable aviation fuels for future use.

The University's research results will provide a basis for the development of application-oriented concepts supporting the production of competitive feedstock for alternative fuels. Only feedstock from sustainable cultivation that does not interfere with food production and has a positive CO2 balance will be considered. Current research focuses on the oil seed-bearing Camelina sativa plant, which was successfully integrated and co-produced in existing cultivations of pea and soy fields in Europe. Given the high demand for plant oils in biokerosene production, one of the main challenges is developing ways to produce the needed feedstock in a manner that is ecologically acceptable. After successful trials with biosynthetic fuels, Lufthansa will focus on feedstock suitability, availability, and certification.

Besides the integration of biokerosene, Lufthansa also aims to reduce overall fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions to meet the climate protection targets defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Long-term goals are CO2-neutral growth beginning in 2020 and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels compared to 2005 levels by 2050.

Photo: Matthias Liebich, Rolf Kuhl / Lufthansa Technik

Photo Bioreactor for Algae Production
article4Innovation: Energy Created from Pond Scum: Photo Bioreactor for Algae Production

Oil-rich biomass derived from algae could provide a green alternative to fossil fuel. Global research projects algae fuel to be an efficient and minimal-impact biofuel option for cars and planes. Among the fastest growing plants in the world and with about 50% of their weight in oil, algae convert low-energy components into energy-rich biomass. To date, 220 macroalgae and 15 microalgae species have proven suitable for commercial use.

The German engineering and consulting company GICON, in collaboration with the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, has successfully developed a scalable photo bioreactor for microalgae production for outdoor use and with a specific process control. The use of new materials and GICON's extensive experience with photovoltaic systems allow for a service life of more than 10 years. The flexible tubular double-wall hose system ensures accurate temperature control for optimal growth during operation. Based on silicone materials in combination with a new pulsation principle, bio-fouling is kept at a minimum, resulting in production with very limited contamination in a closed system. Biomass productivities of about 1 g/L/d (dry weight) and concentrations of 10 g/L (dry weight) can be achieved based on an input of approximately 50 W/m³ of electric energy. The biogenic design of the reactor system allows it to adjust to different geographic areas and local insulation conditions through the variation of reactor and tube geometries. Therefore, in addition to high surface area productivity and efficiency, the system provides the best possible flexibility. Visit www.gicon.de for more information.

article5Shifting Gears: The EDAG "EDpowerdrive" Modular Electric Drive System for Commercial Vehicles

Delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles are a major source of noise pollution in dense urban environments such as New York. To meet the need for noise reduction in large cities, the German EDAG engineering group has developed the EDpowerdrive, a modular electric drive system that shifts from diesel to battery power.

EDpowerdrive is a retrofit system that can be built into existing delivery and transport vehicles' power units in two days, and allows the driver to choose between power sources according to the length of the trip. The diesel engine is designed to accommodate long-distance trips on motorways and main roads. For shorter distances in urban and residential areas, the newly developed modular e-drive provides a reduced-noise and exhaust-free alternative, traveling up to 100 kilometers at a maximum speed of 65 km/h, for a duration of eight hours. This electric drive unit operates independently of the conventional front-wheel drive system, due to an integrated pack in the vehicle's storage compartment. The energy required to run the vehicle is transferred from this pack to the rear axle via a separate drive unit. When running on diesel, the front axle transfers the power to the wheels.

EDAG's modular e-drive system was chosen to be one of "365 Selected Landmarks" of the Germany - Land of Ideas initiative on April 16, 2012. To learn more about the EDpowerdrive, click here.

BMW and Daimler Join Forces to Reinvent the Electric Car (TUM)
article6BMW and Daimler Join Forces to Reinvent the Electric Car (TUM)

Electric vehicles powered by electricity from renewable energy sources are an attractive option for mobility within urban areas and beyond. But on the way to mass production of electric vehicles, there are still significant technological hurdles to overcome. Within the joint research project Visio.M, scientists at the Technische Universität München (TU München) are cooperating with engineers from the automotive industry to develop novel concepts for the production of e-cars that are more efficient, safer, and less expensive. The goal is to develop vehicles that meet the requirements of the European regulatory category L7e (15 kW, max. curb weight: 400 kg (without battery)). As a test carrier, the project partners are using MUTE, the electric vehicle prototype developed at TU München (shown in the picture on the left).

In addition to the automotive companies BMW AG (lead manager) and Daimler AG, participants in the Visio.M consortium include the Technische Universität München as the scientific partner, and Autoliv BV & Co. KG, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BAST), Continental Automotive GmbH, E.ON AG, Finepower GmbH, Hyve AG, IAV GmbH, InnoZ GmbH, Intermap Technologies GmbH, LION Smart GmbH, Neumayer Tekfor Holding GmbH, Siemens AG, Texas Instruments Germany GmbH and TÜV SÜD AG as industrial partners. The project has a total volume of 10.8 million euros and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research. For more information, click here

Photo: Florian Lehmann / TUM