Departement of Mechanical Engineering

Chair of Energy Systems

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hartmut Spliethoff


At LES, the provision of carbon-containing synthesis gases for the production of synthetic fuels is investigated using simulations and experiments within the framework of research projects.

A number of pilot plants for the gasification of waste and biogenic solid fuels are available for this purpose. The entire spectrum from gasification kinetics to the demonstration of the entire process chain is covered: biomass -> synthesis gas -> conversion.

Website: Research at LES
Contact: Sebastian Fendt

The focus of research in the area of conversion at the LES is divided into two:
On the one hand, high-temperature solid oxide electrolysis cells are being investigated. On the other hand, the synthesis of methane is being researched. For this purpose, various reactor concepts for different process configurations (CO2-PtX, biomass gasification with electricity integration, innovative biogas conversion) are examined and optimized. The work takes place both simulatively and experimentally.

Website: Research at LES
Contact: Sebastian Fendt

Energy system modeling and operational planning of different types of power plants in a European context.

Definition of techno-economic framework conditions and determination of the potential of technologies in the energy supply

Estimation of the need for Power-to-X in an integrated energy system using coupled energy system studies.

Website: Research at LES
Contact: Sebastian Fendt

PtX Projects

Renewable low-emission fuels

The task of the Chair of Energy Systems is to model the production of synthetic fuels and to integrate them optimally into the German energy system. For this purpose, the entire path from the integration of renewable electricity to the platform chemicals hydrogen, methane and methanol is modelled thermochemically. The focus lays on the electrolysis and various synthesis routes. In order to achieve the highest levels of efficiency, perfect integration of heat and by-products is indispensable without neglecting plant flexibility. With the help of an optimization algorithm, the size of the buffer storage tanks and the component size of the plant are optimized via application planning. In a model of the German/European energy system, interactions and synergy effects on other sectors are evaluated. This holistic approach promises a sustainable design for the production of synthetic fuels.

In addition, the Chair of Energy Systems coordinates the submodule "System Analytical Investigations". Partner chairs at the TUM investigate the production of the extremely low-emission fuel polyoxymethylene-dimethyl-ethers and prepare a life cycle analysis for synthetic fuels. The Fraunhofer Institute and the ZSW Baden-Würtemberg are investigating current and future developments in the key technology of electrolysis and CO2 sources.

Type: Collaborative project: research initiative "Energiewende im Verkehr".
Funding:  German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi)
Runtime: 10/2018-10/2021
Website: e2Fuels LES
Contact: Sebastian Fendt
Additional Information: TUM Cooperation Project

Biogas COnversion with Reversible Electrolysis

Validation of a reversible, highly efficient, biogas-operated solid oxide cell system

In the BioCORE project, a technology for generating electricity from biogas with high electrical efficiency is to be validated as part of a prototype system, also to simplify scale up and to promote the commercialization of the process.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) are applied, which exhibit a superior efficiency. By means of a novel system architecture the efficiency of the SOFC system is supposed to rise significantly compared to start-of-the-art concepts, while at the same time allowing reversible operation. This means that also excess electrical energy from wind power and photovoltaics can be transferred into synthetic methane and stored in the existing natural gas grid. Hence, the same system is capable of generating electricity from biogas and acting as a storage for fluctuating renewable electricity, both at very high efficiency. After completion of the project the realization of a pilot plant with economically viable capacity will be addressed.

Type: Validation funding VIP+ (high-tech strategy 2025)
Funding:  German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Runtime: 09/2018-09/2021
Website: BioCORE
Contact: Stephan Herrmann
Additional Information: TUM Cooperation Project

Methods and Equipment

BabiTER Atmospheric entrained flow gasification, investigation of reaction kinetics.
BOOSTER Biomass entrained flow gasifier
SOFC StaTe Investigation on the degradation of SOFCs.
Wire Mesh Reactor The wire mesh reactor allows for small-scale pyrolysis and gasification of solids under circumstances comparable to those in industrial facilities.
PiTER Pressurized entrained flow reactor for the investigation of gasification kinetics and the release of trace elements under near-industrial conditions.
SNG Test Rig The SNG pilot plant is used to investigate the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) from biomass
SOFC Single Cell Test Rig Investigation on the degradation of SOFCs.
SOFC StaTe Investigation on the degradation of SOFCs.

All Testing facilities at LES 

  • Gas analysis
  • Fuel analysis
  • Temperature measurement
  • Laser measurement technology

More measurement technologies at LES


  • Dossow, M.l ; Dieterich, V.; Hanel, A.; Spliethoff, H.; Fendt, S.: Improving carbon efficiency for an advanced Biomass-to-Liquid process using hydrogen and oxygen from electrolysis. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 152, 2021, 111670 more…
  • Dieterich, V.; Buttler, A.; Hanel, A.; Spliethoff, H.; Fendt, S.: Power-to-liquid via synthesis of methanol, DME or Fischer–Tropsch-fuels: a review. Energy & Environmental Science 13 (10), 2020, 3207-3252 more…
  • Scharl, V.; Fischer, F.; Herrmann, S.; Fendt, S.; Spliethoff, H.: Applying Reaction Kinetics to Pseudohomogeneous Methanation Modeling in Fixed-Bed Reactors. Chemical Engineering & Technology 43 (00), 2020, 1-11 more…
  • Buttler, A.; Spliethoff, H.: Current status of water electrolysis for energy storage, grid balancing and sector coupling via power-to-gas and power-to-liquids: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 82, 2018, 2440-2454 more…
  • Herrmann, S.; Geis, M.; Hauck, M.; Fischer, F.; Fendt, S.; Gaderer, M.; Spliethoff, H.: BioCORE - Thermodynamic evaluation of a biogas powered reversible SOC system. 13th European SOFC & SOE Forum 2018, 2018 more…
  • Geis, M.; Herrmann, S.; Fendt, S.; Jeong, H.; Lenser, C.; Menzler, N. H.; Spliethoff, H.: Coupling SOFCs to biomass gasification - The influence of phenol on cell degradation in simulated bio-syngas. Part I: Electrochemical analysis. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 43 (45), 2018, 20417-20427 more…
  • Herrmann, S.; Hauck, M.; Geis, M.; Fendt, S.; Gaderer, M.; Spliethoff, H.: Influence of Operating Parameters and System Design on Efficiency of Biomass and Biogas Based SOFC Systems. ECS Transactions 78 (1), 2017, 219-227 more…
  • Herrmann, S.; Geis, M.; Fendt, S.; Spliethoff, H.: Influence of process parameters on the efficiency of syngas conversion in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. 4th International Conference on Renewable Energy Gas Technology, 2017REGATEC 2017 more…
  • Hauck, M.; Herrmann, S.; Spliethoff, H.: Simulation of a reversible SOFC with Aspen Plus. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 42 (15), 2017, 10329-10340 more…
  • Buttler, A.; Dinkel, F.; Franz, S.; Spliethoff, H.: Variability of wind and solar power – An assessment of the current situation in the European Union based on the year 2014. Energy 106, 2016, 147-161 more…


Chair of Energy Systems
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hartmut Spliethoff

Contact Person

Sebastian Fendt

Tel.: +49 89 289 16207