Detail of a mini-plant at Fraunhofer ISE to produce methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

Thermochemical Processes

Fraunhofer ISE has been developing thermochemical processes for over 15 years. We continually strive to make these processes increasingly more efficient, while reducing the carbon dioxide and exhaust gas emissions at the same time. With our innovative solutions in process technology, we help to bring on the success of the energy transformation.

Our work centers around investigations on heterogeneous catalytic material transformations in the liquid and the gaseous phase. We synthesize and characterize catalysts and, among other things, can rapidly and precisely analyze their performance at our mini-plant according to our clients’ wishes. We both design and operate test stands, if need be automated, in order to analyze the solid, liquid and gaseous products using state-of-the-art analytics. In order to optimize the thermochemical processes, we use the following simulation programs: CHEMCAD® for process simulations, Matlab/Simulink ® for dynamic simulations, etc., Ansys® for CFD simulations and Umberto® for life cycle assessments (LCA) and life cycle costs (LCC).

We hold patented technologies, developed in-house,  for residue-free vaporization of liquid fuels and pyrolysis of many different energy carriers, biomass conversion and sustainable synthesis of fuels and chemicals from carbon dioxide and hydrogen (Power-to-Liquid). We would be glad to offer you more details about these processes upon request.

Selected Research Projects



Sustainable Carbon Support Materials for Current and Future Catalytic Hydrogenation



Liquid Energy Storage, Chemicals, and Fuels from CO2 and H2


Catalytic Evaporation Process

Residue-free Evaporation of Liquid Energy Sources

Current publications - Thermochemical Processes:


YearTitle/AuthorDocument Type
2017Highly correlated ab initio thermodynamics of oxymethylene dimethyl ethers (OME). Formation and extension to the liquid phase
Himmel, D.; White, R.J.; Jacob, E.; Krossing, I.
Journal Article
2017Methodical design and operation of membrane distillation plants for desalination
Hagedorn, A.; Fieg, G.; Winter, D.; Koschikowski, J.; Mann, T.
Journal Article
2017Palladium/ruthenium composite membrane for hydrogen separation from the off-gas of solar cell production via chemical vapor deposition
Sang Moon, L.; Xu, N.; Kim, S.S.; Li, A.; Grace, J.R.; Lim, C.J.; Boyd, T.; Ryi, S.-K.; Susdorf, A.; Schaadt, A.
Journal Article
2017The power-to-methanol process chain - a life cycle assessment and CO2 avoidance cost analysis: Presentation held at 15th Interational Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization, ICCDU 2017, Shanghai, China, July, 17th-21st, 2017
Hank, C.; Hömberg, J.; White, R.; Schaadt, A.
2016Catalytic decomposition of biomass tars: The impact of wood char surface characteristics on the catalytic performance for naphthalene removal
Nestler, F.; Burhenne, L.; Amtenbrink, M.J.; Aicher, T.
Journal Article
2016Characteristic low frequency time constants derived from impedance spectra of fuel cell stacks: Presentation held at Modval 13, Lausanne, Switzerland, March 22nd, 2016
Keller, S.; Özel, T.; Scherzer, A.-C.; Gerteisen, D.; Groos, U.
2016Comparability of developed test procedures at normal operating conditions for PEM fuel cell stacks and modules analyzed in Round-Robin-Tests: Presentation held at 21st World Hydrogen Energy Conference, WHEC 2016, Zaragoza, Spain, 13th to the 16th of June 2016
Jungmann, T.; Nürnberg, K.; Harms, C.
2016An interesting class of porous polymer - revisiting the structure of mesoporous α-D-Polysaccharide gels
White, R.J.; Shuttleworth, P.S.; Budarin, V.L.; Bruyn, M. de; Fischer, A.; Clark, J.H.
Journal Article
2016On-board fuel tailoring with a novel catalytic evaporator for HCCI combustion
Szolak, R.; Morales Wiemer, E.A.; Kraljevic, I.; Susdorf, A.; Karadeniz, H.; Epple, B.; Rümmele, F.; Schaadt, A.
2015Controllable HDO of lignin model compounds via aqueous phase reforming
Otromke, M.; Theiss, L.; Wunsch, A.; Susdorf, A.; Aicher, T.; White, R.; Schaadt, A.
Conference Paper
2015The hydrogenation of CO2 to sustainable energy carriers - PTL concept: Presentation held at EWACC 2015, Building Bridges Conference 2015, Nicosia, Cyprus, 16-18 June 2015
Ouda, M.; Schaadt, A.
2015Selective and controllable purification of monomeric lignin model compounds via aqueous phase reforming
Otromke, M.; Theiss, L.; Wunsch, A.; Susdorf, A.; Aicher, T.
Journal Article
2014Highly efficient solar hydrogen generation - an integrated concept joining III-V solar cells with PEM electrolysis cells
Rau, S.; Vierrath, S.; Ohlmann, J.; Fallisch, A.; Lackner, D.; Dimroth, F.; Smolinka, T.
Journal Article
2014The influence of the precipitation/ageing temperature on a Cu/ZnO/ZrO2 catalyst for methanol synthesis from H2 and CO2
Frei, E.; Schaadt, A.; Ludwig, T.; Hillebrecht, H.; Krossing, I.
Journal Article
2014Das Power-to-Liquid-Konzept am Beispiel von Methanol
Schaadt, A.; Ouda, M.; Aicher, T.; Krossing, I.
Journal Article
2013Effect of feedstock water content and pyrolysis temperature on the structure and reactivity of spruce wood char produced in fixed bed pyrolysis
Burhenne, L.; Damiani, M.; Aicher, T.
Journal Article
This publication list has been generated from the publication database Fraunhofer-Publica.