Research project on 2. generation continues

The research cooperation "biomass for sunfuel" of volkswagen AG with the federal states of brandenburg, lower saxony and hesse will be continued. This was announced today by the brandenburg ministry for rural development, environment and consumer protection (MLUV) as a result of a meeting of stakeholders in wolfsburg.

The artificial word sunfuel stands for fuel that is produced synthetically from biomass and is also known as biomass-to-liquid (btl) fuel or as a "2nd generation biofuel. Generation biofuel" biofuel. The cooperation is based on a joint agreement on scientific and technical cooperation for the production of sunfuel from 2003.

According to the MLUV, the focus of the first phase from 2004 to 2009 was on determining the agricultural biomass potential, including socio-economic and ecological considerations.

In the second phase (2009 to 2014), which has now been launched, research will focus on woody biomass from short-rotation plantations and from forest and landscape management. At the same time, the possibilities of extracting biomass from polluted land sites, from the gasification of algae and from the processing of flotsam were investigated.

The state of brandenburg is participating in the research cooperation with a demonstration project on the strip cropping of fast-growing woody plants on erosion-prone areas. The project is scheduled to begin in 2010 and, in addition to studies on erosion control, will also include statements on improving humus content, biodiversity and the landscape.

In the free state of saxony, which is not involved in the sunfuel initiative, the company choren industries in april 2008 built what the company claims is the "the world’s first coarse-technology plant" for btl production put into operation. Unlike the discredited biofuel of the 1. Generation biofuel, it is hoped that btl will have a significantly better eco-balance.