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Bauhaus Luftfahrt develops background paper on Power-to-Liquids (PtL) for aviation

The 2015 Paris Agreement requires massive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in all sectors by the middle of this century. With huge global production potentials and near-zero net GHG emissions, if produced from renewable electricity and abundant CO2 captured from air, PtL fuels could enable the aviation sector to contribute its share of the efforts required.

This is a key message of a background paper recently written by Bauhaus Luftfahrt in collaboration with Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik and on behalf of the German Environment Agency. PtL fuels production comprises three main steps: 1. Hydrogen production from renewable electricity through electrolysis of water. 2. Provision of renewable CO2 and conversion. 3. Synthesis to liquid hydrocarbons with subsequent upgrading / refining. PtL fuels can be produced using established industrial-scale processes. Full system integration, however, is still pending. PtL-derived jet fuel is drop-in capable.

The main challenge for the short-term deployment of PtL-derived jet fuel are disadvantageously high costs of production. The main advantage of PtL fuels are huge wind and solar power potentials exceeding global energy demand. The environmental benefits of PtL fuels using renewables (electricity, CO2 and water) are evident with near-zero carbon footprint, negligible water demand and much lower land requirements compared to biofuels.

The background paper can be downloaded from the German Environment Agency website:


Image source: sunfire GmbH, Dresden /
October 25th, 2016