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
2020New Routes for Efficient and Sustainable Oxymethylene Ethers Synthesis
Salem, Mohamed Kamal Ouda; Klein, Harald (Referent); Kraume, Matthias (Referent); Schaadt, Achim (Betreuer)
2019Comparative well-to-wheel life cycle assessment of OME3-5 synfuel production via the power-to-liquid pathway
Hank, C.; Lazar, L.; Mantei, F.; Ouda, M.; White, R.J.; Smolinka, T.; Schaadt, A.; Hebling, C.; Henning, H.M.
Journal Article
2019Gas permeation properties of NaA zeolite membranes: Effect of silica source on hydrogel synthesis and layer thickness
Lee, S.M.; Lee, Y.H.; Grace, J.R.; Li, A.; Lim, C.J.; Fotovat, F.; Schaadt, A.; White, R.J.; Kim, S.S.
Journal Article
2019One pot conversion of glucose to ethyl levulinate over a porous hydrothermal acid catalyst in green solvents
Bosilj, M.; Schmidt, J.; Fischer, A.; White, R.J.
Journal Article
2019Oxidative Fluorination of Cu/ZnO Methanol Catalysts
Dybbert, V.; Fehr, S.M.; Klein, F.; Schaadt, A.; Hoffmann, A.; Frei, E.; Erdem, E.; Ludwig, T.; Hillebrecht, H.; Krossing, I.
Journal Article
2019Solvent Applications of Short-Chain Oxymethylene Dimethyl Ether Oligomers
Zhenova, A.; Pellis, A.; Milescu, R.A.; McElroy, C.R.; White, R.J.; Clark, J.H.
Journal Article
2018Base Catalysed Hydrothermal Reformation of Kraft Lignin
Otromke, Malte; Sauer, Jörg (Referent); Laborie, Marie-Pierre (Referentin); Aicher, Thomas (Betreuer); Schaadt, Achim (Betreuer); White, Robin J. (Betreuer)
2018Bio-electrochemical conversion of industrial wastewater-COD combined with downstream methanol synthesis : An economic and life cycle assessment
Streeck, J.; Hank, C.; Neuner, M.; Gil-Carrera, L.; Kokko, M.; Pauliuk, S.; Schaadt, A.; Kerzenmacher, S.; White, R.J.
Journal Article
2018Describing oxymethylene ether synthesis based on the application of non-stoichiomsetric Gibbs minimisation
Ouda, M.; Mantei, F.K.; Elmehlawy, M.; White, R.J.; Klein, H.; Fateen, S.-E.K.
Journal Article
2018Ecological Assessment of Liquid Energy Carriers. Power-to-Methanol and Oxymethylene Ethers: Presentation held at ProcessNet-Jahrestagung 2018, Aachen, Germany, 10.09.2018-13.09.2018
Hank, C.; Lazar, L.; Schaadt, A.; White, R.
2018Economics & carbon dioxide avoidance cost of methanol production based on renewable hydrogen and recycled carbon dioxide - power-to-methanol
Hank, C.; Gelpke, S.; Schnabl, A.; White, R.J.; Full, J.; Wiebe, N.; Smolinka, T.; Schaadt, A.; Henning, H.-M.; Hebling, C.
Journal Article
2018A hybrid description and evaluation of oxymethylene dimethyl ethers synthesis based on the endothermic dehydrogenation of methanol
Ouda, M.; Mantei, F.; Hesterwerth, K.; Bargiacchi, E.; Klein, H.; White, R.J.
Journal Article
2018Methanol synthesis - industrial challenges within a changing raw material landscape
Nestler, Florian; Krüger, Matthias; Full, Johannes; Hadrich, Max J.; White, Robin J.; Schaadt, Achim
Journal Article
2018Pathways to an Integrated Energy System: Presentation at International Workshop "Perspectives on Power-to-Liquids and Power-to-Chemicals", June 4, 2018 Freiburg/Germany
Henning, H.-M.
2018Polyformamidine‐Derived Non‐Noble Metal Electrocatalysts for Efficient Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Pardo Pérez, L.C.; Sahraie, N.R.; Melke, J.; Elsässer, P.; Teschner, D.; Huang, X.; Kraehnert, R.; White, R.J.; Enthaler, S.; Strasser, P.; Fischer, A.
Journal Article
2018Structure, stability and permeation properties of NaA zeolite membranes for H2O/H2 and CH3OH/H2 separations
Moon Lee, S.; Xu, N.; Grace, J.R.; Li, A.; Lim, C.J.; Kim, S.S.; Fotovat, F.; Schaadt, A.; White, R.J.
Journal Article
2018Towards a Sustainable Synthesis of Oxymethylene Dimethyl Ether by Homogeneous Catalysis and Uptake of Molecular Formaldehyde
Peter, A.; Fehr, S.M.; Dybbert, V.; Himmel, D.; Lindner, I.; Jacob, E.; Ouda, M.; Schaadt, A.; White, R.J.; Scherer, H.; Krossing, I.
Journal Article
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
2017Poly(oxymethylene) dimethyl ether synthesis: A combined chemical equilibrium investigation towards an increasingly efficient and potentially sustainable synthetic route
Ouda, M.; Yarce, G.; White, R.J.; Hadrich, M.; Himmel, D.; Schaadt, A.; Klein, H.; Jacob, E.; Krossing, I.
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.
2017Synthesis and preliminary gas permeation studies of a tubular NaA zeolite membrane (NZM)
Xu, N.; Lee, S.M.; Kim, S.S.; Li, A.; Lim, C.J.; Fotovat, F.; Schaadt, A.; Grace, J.R.
Journal Article
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
2016Local platinum environments in a solid analogue of the molecular periana catalyst
Soorholtz, M.; Jones, L.C.; Samuelis, D.; Weidenthaler, C.; White, R.J.; Titirici, M.-M.; Cullen, D.A.; Zimmermann, T.; Antonietti, M.; Maier, J.; Palkovits, R.; Chmelka, B.F.; Schüth, F.
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.
2016The power to liquid concept: Hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol and the production of oxymethylene ethers
Ouda, M.; Yarce, G.; Hesterwerth, K.; Hadrich, M.; White, R.J.; Schaadt, A.; Klein, H.; Jacob, E.
Conference Paper
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.
This publication list has been generated from the publication database Fraunhofer-Publica.