The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) is launching a new call for proposals under the SWEET funding programme on the topic ‘Sustainable Fuels and Platform Chemicals’.
Sustainable liquid and gaseous fuels will make an important contribution to achieving the goals of the energy strategy and long-term climate strategy.
SWEET (SWiss Energy research for the Energy Transition) is a funding programme owned and managed by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). The purpose of SWEET is to fund interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and innovation activities with a focus on the goals of Switzerland’s Energy Strategy 2050 and long-term climate policy.
Sustainable fuels and platform chemicals
- Consortia are required to address all research questions. The research questions are ordered accordingto the following hierarchy: pathways for SF and SPC in the Swiss energy system – development of technologies for the production, transport, storage, and use of SF and SPC – exploitation of Swiss animal manure for the profitable production of SF and SPC
Researchers are being asked to provide answers to three research questions:
- How can Switzerland meet its future needs for sustainable fuels and platform chemicals?
- How must the technologies for the production, transport, distribution, storage and use of sustainable fuels be further developed so that they can make a tangible contribution to the energy and climate goals?
- How can the additional potential of Swiss farmyard manure be put to profitable use for the production of sustainable fuels?
In the context of this call, sustainable fuels (SF) are defined to be fuels that meet a set of environmental and social sustainability criteria. To give a precise definition is not fruitful at present because there is no universally applicable or accepted set of criteria and the legal bases at the national and European levels are still evolving.
There are three fundamental paths for producing SF, with “X” denoting a particular SF:
- Power-to-X (PtX): Hydrogen is produced from the electrolysis of water, optionally followed by ammonia synthesis to produce ammonia; Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to produce Diesel, gasoline, and kerosene; methanation to produce methane; or methanol synthesis to produce methanol. To produce hydrocarbon fuels from hydrogen, a carbon source is required, such as CO2 captured from flue gases or the atmosphere or CO2 from the anaerobic digestion of green waste, manure, or sewage sludge.
- Biomass-to-X (BtX): Biomass may be classified into woody biomass, which includes various types of wood, and non-woody biomass, which includes manure, by-products from farming, the organic fraction of household waste, green waste from households, organic waste from industry and commerce, and sewage sludge.
- Solar-to-X (StX): Solar energy can drive a variety of processes that result in SF. In thermochemical processes, for example, concentrated solar energy may be used to convert water and CO2, optionally supplemented by methane produced from biomass, into syngas, followed by FischerTropsch synthesis. Alternatively, in photoelectrochemical processes, concentrated solar energy can be employed with integrated photovoltaic cells and electrolysers to produce hydrogen.
- The host institution must be a Swiss institution of higher education entitled to receive SFOE funding and is the legal entity applying for the funding on behalf of a consortium. The host institution must provide a letter of commitment to demonstrate its commitment to fulfil the obligations associated with its role in the consortium.
- Applicants request SWEET funding from the SFOE through the consortium. Each applicant is a legal entity with due representation. Each applicant must submit a letter of intent with the pre-proposal.
- Partners that choose not to apply for funding may participate in the work programme of the consortium as so-called cooperation partners. Cooperation partners must finance their activities from sources other than SWEET.
- A consortium must meet the following requirements:
- It is led by 1 host institution.
- It consists of at least 5 applicants from different legal entities.
- It consists of at least 1 applicant from each of the following entities:
- Swiss university or institute of the ETH domain (ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne, Empa, Eawag, PSI and WSL),
- Swiss university of applied sciences,
- Swiss industry/private sector.
- In addition, a consortium should:
- Consist of applicants and cooperation partners that span the innovation system and thereby enable an interdisciplinary or a transdisciplinary approach commensurate with the research challenge.
- Consist of applicants and cooperation partners that deliver complementary and significant contributions to the consortium’s work programme.
- Be gender-balanced and reflect Switzerland’s diversity in terms of languages and regions.
For more information, visit https://www.bfe.admin.ch/bfe/en/home/news-and-media/press-releases/mm-test.msg-id-90531.html