Biomass takes off
The fuels of the future have to be sustainable and environmentally friendly – not only in cars, but in aeroplanes too. In an effort to find alternatives to fuel made from crude oil, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is investigating fuels produced from biomass. A long-term trial using biosynthetic kerosene has already produced successful results.
Did you know that jet fuel is sometimes just a load of hot air? (© Audio in German: Helmholtz Association / Erich Wittenberg)
Deep-sea mineral factories
The demand for metallic and mineral resources shows no signs of abating. While exploitation has so far largely focused on resources on land, there is increasing interest in tapping those found in the ocean floor. Hydrothermal vents thousands of metres under the sea surface – often called “black smokers” because they resemble chimney stacks spewing soot and smoke – are one promising source of valuable mineral resources.
Scientists of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel examine the “black smokers”: Video
Biodiversity and bioenergy
When it comes to renewable energy sources, bioenergy is an excellent all-rounder, as it can produce electricity, heat and fuel from biomass – that is, stored solar energy in the form of energy crops, wood, and residual materials such as straw or slurry. Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) are investigating how bioenergy can be used sustainably. External Link
Daniela Thrän from the UFZ explains how greater energy crop cultivation poses a threat to more than just biodiversity. (© Audio in German: UFZ / Erich Wittenberg)
Solving global challenges
The High-Tech Strategy for Germany
The High-Tech Strategy is intended to help Germany assume a leading role in the solution of global challenges andto give convincing answers to the important questions of the 21th century. In this way, we are not only contributing to improving the lives of many people. A broad base in science and research and the development of quality technology are also helping us secure prosperity and qualified jobs in Germany. The Federal Government has therefore defined ten forward-looking projects, relying on the advice of the Industry-Science Research Alliance.
More information about the forward-looking project “Renewable biomaterials as an alternative to oil” can be found here (in German only).