The portfolio of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance also includes the operation of pilot plants to examine the combustion and emission behavior of different fuels in combustion plants, gasification plants and pyrolysis plants. Researchers at Fraunhofer improve system components, for example by using innovative ceramic materials in burners, advise customers with regard to the management of biomass-fired cogenerations plants and examine production chains of bioenergy raw materials. At the same time, research is conducted with respect to catalytic processes and the improvement of refinery concepts for the processing of biofuels, for example the fluid phase transition of greases, oils and renewable raw materials to biogenic diesel and gasoline.

Further research topics at Fraunhofer include crushing, blending and molding units for the conversion of waste and production residues to alternative fuels and the analysis of small-scale combustion installations with integrated cogeneration systems for alternative fuels from high calorific waste.

Experts at Fraunhofer develop, plan and support plants for biogas anaerobic digestion and conduct research on the production of synthesis gas from biomass for the usage in fuel cell systems and the coupling with chemical processes. The latter also includes the feed-in of biogas into the natural gas grid and the conversion to fuel for vehicles.

Competences »Bioenergy« | Fraunhofer Energy Alliance

Energetic Use of Biomass

Biomass will have a large share in the electricity and heating market of the future. The Fraunhofer Energy Alliance conducts research in the field of biomass utilization in order to fully exploit its potential for efficient use. The participating researchers are working on developing and making bio-plants more flexible and integrating them into energy supply systems. The Fraunhofer Institutes make the technology fit for the challenges of the future – both for digitization and for the provision of process heat for industrial applications, for example. In addition, studies and measurements relating to bioenergy plants are being offered.




The »Flex-C-Cat« project concerns the optimization of the characteristics of biomass-derived carbon materials as solid support materials for catalytic hydrogenation.



The project focuses on the energetic utilization of poultry manure and straw based on biogas production. In addition to the energy balance (incl. logistics) especially the material potential of the resulting digestate (fertilizer and fuel) is considered or developed.


The Fraunhofer Energy Alliance is currently working on the further development of biofuels as an alternative form of fuel. The aim is to increase the efficiency of bioethanol production and develop alternatives – such as the biofuel biobutanol. The portfolio of the Energy Alliance therefore includes not only the optimization of biofuel processing methods, but also the associated increase in production efficiency. New paths for biofuels from biogenic residues (such as fermentation residue, sewage sludge or biowaste) aim at the direct substitution of fossil crude oil in refineries "drop-in-fuels" so that the entire range of products can be produced on a green basis. The conversion of waste materials from renewable sources into synthetic fuels and biodiesel is also being investigated.




The »HyCO2« pilot project evaluates the process of converting CO2 with sustainable H2 to liquid compounds such as methanol using an interdisciplinary network.



The Fraunhofer IMM develops decentralized plants which produce biodiesel from waste materials on-site without long transportation routes, depending on the application.



Waste materials from biomass are to be disposed of and used with the help of a combination of different technologies. In a newly developed large-scale plant they will be converted into sustainable biofuels, green hydrogen and biochar.

Refinery Concepts for the Production of Biomass Fuels

Fraunhofer Institutes are developing refinery concepts for biofuel processes based on various biomasses. Based on electrochemical and biochemical processes as alternative hydrogen production systems, the aim is to provide methanol as well as methane. In addition, the use of reactors based on ceramic ultrafiltration membranes can significantly reduce saccharification times and operate continuous saccharification processes.



Energy Region Straßfurt

The “Energy Region Staßfurt 2020” project has developed a regional energy concept for converting the energy supply from fossil fuels to regionally generated renewable energies (EE).

Biogas / Fermentation

In the field of biogas and fermentation, Fraunhofer researchers are working on the utilization of organic waste and sludge and on the optimization of fermentation processes. The flexibilization of biogas plants and their integration into the energy system is also an important research focus. In demonstration plants for bioenergy, complex research activities are made possible and products are being tested in a scientific and technical application environment that is both practical and carefully controlled.




Optimization of the operation and design of biogas plants for needs-based, flexible and efficient biogas production, taking process stability into account as a post-EEG strategy.


Joint Project

Efficient processing of alternative biogas substrates through a targeted combination of denitrification, ammonia digestion and pelleting.

Biogenic Gases / Thermochemical Conversion

With regard to biogenic gases, Fraunhofer Institutes are working hard to further develop biomass cogeneration plants and the processes involved and to integrate them into the energy system. Within this framework, researchers use complex test procedures to investigate, among other things, the potential of biomass cogeneration plants for flexible power generation. In this process, power generation can be adapted to the electricity demand and the power generation of other renewable energy sources. Current research by the Fraunhofer Institutes on the conversion and storage of bioenergy contributes to the efficient use of biogenic gases.




The project SuRIOx is to achieve the ambitious goal of providing biomethane more efficient regarding energy and resources in comparison with the state of the art.



The project aims at the development of a new innovative highly efficient and fuel
flexible micro-scale biomass CHP technology consisting of a small-scale fixed-bed
updraft gasifier, a compact gas cleaning system and a solid oxide fuel cell.