Research Project Power-to-MEDME-FuE


Funding Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF
Duration 01.10.2023 – 31.07.2025
Researchers Fraunhofer IEE Dr. Ramona Schröer (Project Management), Jochen Bard, Dr. André Bisevic, Johan Fetköter, Dr. Ulrike Fuchs, Dayana del Carmen Granford Ruiz, Maximilian Pfennig, Marie Plaisir
Project Partners Fraunhofer Chile Research, Fraunhofer ISE, Fraunhofer IMM, Fraunhofer ISC/HTL, Fraunhofer IAP-CAN, Fraunhofer IKTS, RWTH Aachen, FIBS RILL
Fraunhofer IEE subproject
Technical and economic optimization of the process chain, business model and markets

Project description

The project includes the accompanying research activities for "Power-to-MEDME", the large-scale development of the production of green methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) in Chile, and develops important framework conditions for its continuation (in the following named as Module 1).

The project includes tasks along the entire process chain, starting with the production of green hydrogen from renewable energy sources, followed by CO₂ capture, and concluding with the product dimethyl ether (DME). The aim here is to reduce the costs and increase the efficiency of the various processes themselves. In the accompanying research for Module 1, the processes and the process chain will be simulated, and material development and investigations will be carried out for the individual steps. In addition, the markets in Chile, as well as those on an international level, will be evaluated and a scale-up of the plant will be carried out.

Another important component of the project is sustainable development and transfer of know-how on site. This includes, among other things, education and training of engineers and technicians for the construction and operation of the plants along the process chain.

The Germany-Chile Energy Partnership, which was launched in 2019, emphasizes the importance of Chile for the future energy supply of Germany and Europe. The project thus supports the diversification of energy imports and fulfils the requirement of the funding program to "develop trade relations with potential exporters of green hydrogen."

Work Packages

  • WP1: Plant-specific and site-specific information collection and analysis
  • WP2: Power-to-DME
  • WP3: Technical and economic analysis and process simulations along the value chain for the optimization of ramp-up and market integration
  • WP4: Analytics, sensor technology, and integration/optimization of the CO2 capture process
  • WP5: eDME retrofit concepts including exhaust gas aftertreatment for heavy-duty transportation and off-road applications with eDME and eMeOH
  • WP6: Evaluation of the sustainability of products and processes and analysis of socio-economic impacts of the project for Chile
  • WP7: Business models and evaluation of regional and supra-regional sales markets
  • WP8: Materials/components
  • WP9: Queries on different electrolyzer concepts and water desalination
  • WP10: Capacity building

Work objectives Fraunhofer IEE

The main objective of work package 1 is the analysis of the process chain as well as the data collection from Module 1 and processing as input for the further work packages such as techno-economic analyses and simulations. Another objective is the scientific and methodological support of the work in Module 1 regarding project implementation, conceptual design / plant design and site evaluation in order to incorporate the results into the further work in this accompanying project.

In work package 3, holistic techno-economic analyses and systemic optimizations will be performed across the entire process chain with the goal of determining and optimizing hydrogen, methanol, and DME production costs while maximizing production volumes. This will be achieved by evaluating the process steps from power generation to DME production and assessing various optimization measures. Content of this work package is also the evaluation of the upscaling of the system concept for Chile, the transferability to other projects and the market ramp-up.

The objectives of work package 7 are the identification and evaluation of business models and the evaluation of sales markets for liquid hydrogen, methanol and DME in the Chilean and supra-regional market. In addition, export chains for liquid hydrogen, methanol and DME are to be analyzed and the necessary upscaling of production capacities and the required development and expansion of infrastructure are to be derived from this. This will serve as preparation for the analysis of PtX export options for Chile.

The content of work package 10 is the development and implementation of an adapted capacity building approach for Chile for all relevant stakeholder groups (including industry, value chain, grid operators, off-takers), universities, authorities as well as ministries.