ZHAW is Part of ReFuel.ch Consortium Awarded Funding From SWEET Program
A decision has been made on the call for proposals “Sustainable Fuels and Platform Chemicals”: The reFuel.ch consortium led by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) will receive project funding. ZHAW is involved in the project through the School of Engineering and School of Management and Law. The Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE) is co-leading the project.
The overall target of reFuel.ch (Renewable Fuels and Chemicals for Switzerland) is to improve the sustainability and reduce the costs of sustainable fuels and platform chemicals by increasing the efficiency, selectivity, and load-flexibility of production plants to comply with long-term climate policy goals.
The consortium will investigate how investment security can be improved by closing the knowledge gap between technical and non-technical aspects of sustainable fuels. Robust and practical pathways for the introduction of sustainable fuels and platform chemicals into markets and the Swiss energy system will be developed. To achieve this, inputs from social and natural sciences and engineering as well as from the dialogue with relevant stakeholders will be included. A second aim is to strengthen innovative technologies currently at low technology readiness level.
The Centre for Aviation will specifically address aviation fuel logistics to enable the lowest possible emission transport of operating materials from their production site to the aircraft. Likewise, assessments of the climate impact of alternative aviation fuels at high altitudes will be carried out. In addition to co-leading the consortium, the CEE will specifically investigate the framework conditions necessary for investments along the sustainable pathways identified. This includes an assessment of distribution effects as well as framework conditions for the most efficient integration of new plants into the Swiss electricity market.
The call “Sustainable Fuels and Platform Chemicals” was developed in collaboration with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and the Federal Office for Defence Procurement (armasuisse). The reFuel.ch consortium was selected in a two-stage procedure. The funding is CHF 15 million.
The consortium is composed of:
- Host institution: Empa
- Members: PSI, ETH, EPFL, USI, UniBS, FHNW, SUPSI, ZHAW, Casale SA
- Total budget: CHF 17.6 million, incl. CHF 15 million financed by SWEET.
SWEET (Swiss Energy research for the Energy Transition) Funding Program
The SWEET program issues rolling calls for proposals for consortium projects and will continue until 2032. Funding is provided only for consortium projects that address central research topics of the 2050 Energy Strategy and Switzerland's long-term climate strategy in a comprehensive manner. SWEET focuses on solution-oriented research and on demonstrations of the results achieved. The SFOE has the lead for the SWEET program.