Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and Brandenburg’s Business and Energy Minister Jörg Steinbach today opened PtX Lab Lausitz, an applied research lab for the production of fuels and raw materials from green hydrogen in the Lusatia (Lausitz) region, Germany.
Corinna Enders, Managing Director of Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG), and Harry Lehmann, Director of the new PtX Lab Lusatia, welcomed the Minister and other guests who joined them via video conference. As a new business unit within ZUG, the PtX Lab will work on behalf of the Federal Environment Ministry to create the technical basis needed for the carbon-neutral generation and use of Power-to-X (PtX) technologies. This work will be conducted in cooperation and direct dialogue with business and research partners. The construction and operation of a pilot plant in the Lusatia region is also planned for conducting trials of PtX-based systems.
Corinna Enders: “I’m very glad that ZUG is setting up PtX Lab Lausitz as a new business unit based in Cottbus. The lab will function simultaneously as a knowledge platform, thought leader and partner of choice for green hydrogen and PtX technologies. The ultimate aim is to facilitate the market ramp-up of environmentally safe and sustainable PtX products, and help both our economy and society achieve carbon neutrality. Following the opening of the Competence Centre on climate change mitigation in energy-intensive industries (KEI) in 2019, this marks a significant expansion of our presence and mandate in Cottbus. We’re also accelerating structural change in the Lusatia region while creating useful synergies between our two business units.”
PtX is a general term for the technologies that use renewable power to generate green hydrogen for the production of fuels and raw materials – and the only long-term carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels. In transport, PtX is especially relevant for aviation and shipping, because, unlike the battery-powered drive systems used in EVs, electricity cannot be used as a ‘fuel’ by this part of the sector. PtX technologies also offer climate-friendly alternatives for the chemicals industry. Here, the complex production processes for basic materials like ethylene and propylene have been associated with high CO2 emissions to date, because these utilise fossil sources such as oil or natural gas.
Harry Lehmann: “PtX Lab Lausitz will be monitoring and analysing the latest developments in green hydrogen and PtX technologies, and helping to disseminate this knowledge. Staff at the lab will engage in dialogue with research institutions and manufacturing companies at both a national and international level. Our aim here is to initiate cooperative ventures, and to advise and bring together key players from the worlds of policymaking, business and society.”
PtX Lab Lausitz and the planned pilot plant will give researchers and entrepreneurs alike the opportunity to try out new kinds of service provision, to learn how to develop new business models and put these into practice, step by step. Work will also be completed on creating the economic and legal environment needed for a rapid and successful PtX market ramp-up. This will target the entire value chain of stakeholder technologies and industry sectors, as well as their placement in the circular economy. Questions about the impact of a rapid market ramp-up of PtX products on society and local communities will also be addressed.
On behalf of the Federal Environment Ministry, Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH set up PtX Lab Lausitz, an applied research lab for the production of fuels and raw materials from green hydrogen, in Cottbus in March 2021. The legal basis is formed by the German Structural Strengthening Act for Coal Regions (StStG), which came into force in 2020. Up to EUR 180 million has been allocated to finance PtX Lab Lausitz and the planned pilot plant up to 2024. A team of seven is currently working at the PtX Lab in Cottbus. By 2023, the aim will be to expand this team at PtX Lab Lausitz to a total of 60 people.