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AAT is involved in the following research projects at the moment:

EvEmBi

Evaluation and reduction of methane emissions from different European biogas plant concepts

The EvEmBi project aims to evaluate different biogas plant concepts (e.g. agricultural biogas and bio-waste or waste water treatment plants) used in the EU with respect to their methane EFs. Using a previously developed measurement guideline (current research project MetHarmo), the project consortium will determine comparable EFs from different biogas plant concepts in the participating countries and, hence, will deliver representative EFs for the European greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for the first time. After the determination of the EFs, emission reduction strategies will be developed, implemented, and reviewed for the particular biogas plants. This results in the elaboration of a general European position paper as well as national (country specific) position papers on GHG emissions and abatement strategies. Additionally, a general "European voluntary System” as well as specific national voluntary systems for emission control of the biogas sector in Europe will be established and implemented in cooperation with the involved biogas associations. The gained knowledge will be disseminated to the European biogas community in international and national training workshops elaborated within the project.

PTLiquid

Process development for the microbiological utilisation of CO2 and H2 to produce ethanol

The European Commission Roadmap 2050 for a low-carbon economy states that current greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 80–95% by 2050. To reach these targets, the entire energy system needs to be transformed and will need to include efficient conversion technologies. All potential renewable energies must be used, while simultaneously guaranteeing an uninterrupted energy supply for consumers. Because wind and solar energies are not constant, and because demand is not constant, a transition to a flexible energy system with a conversion to secondary energy carriers (fuels) will be necessary. Power to gas (P2G) is one suitable technology that can provide flexible energy networks coupled with conversion to fuels. A more recent version of this technology is power to liquid (P2L), which converts excess electricity into liquid fuel. The EU also has targets to blend 10% biofuels into transport fuels by 2020 (Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC).First-generation biofuels (e.g. bioethanol from starch, biodiesel) have already helped reach this target, but they have had a limited impact on CO2 emissions. Due to Renewable Energy Directive II biofuels upon 2nd generation will only be supported. Second-generation biofuels, made from waste, are just starting to be produced at a large scale. Third-generation biofuels, based on algae, are being intensively studied. Now the fourth-generation biofuels are being researched, using CO2 as a carbon source. Previous processes using CO2 and H2 have focussed on methane production as well as direct hydrogen addition to the gas grid. The aim of the proposed research project is to develop a multi-step process to produce liquid fuels
from CO2 and H2. This will allow CO2 waste streams to be used to produce liquid fuels, thereby contributing to the reduction of emissions in the transport sector.

CarbonATE

Development of an enzymatic CO2-capture strategy for an optimised microbiological methanation

The European Union aims at a transition towards a renewable energy system by strengthening biomass exploitation. Within P2G concept bio-methanation of CO2 from biomass conversion systems with H2 enables an overall emission reduction. For this methanation process the amount of gases serving as potential CO2 sources is limited due to impurities like O2 or N2 in many industrial exhaust gases. Purification technologies for CO2 are costly and very energy consuming. By using an enzymatic CO2 capture process the energy demand and the costs will be reduced and “impure” gases like exhaust gases from e.g. biomass combustion or CHP-units will be applicable. Thus, these gas streams serve as alternative carbon sources and have the potential to substantially increase the exploitation of biomass for the production of energy carriers. Such efficient P2G systems are mandatory towards a fossil fuel free society and will strengthen the role of renewable energy in the future European energy system.