Alternative fuels: sunfire now produces synthetic fuel from air, water and green electrical energy

German Federal Minister of Education and Research receives the first litres / Car manufacturer Audi confirms the fuel’s eco-friendliness

  • The  power-to-liquids  demonstration rig in  Dresden  is  the  only  one  of  its  kind worldwide and has produced the first litres of synthetic diesel which do not contain any sulphuror fossil oil

Dresden/Berlin, April 21st 2015. Today, sunfire, a pioneer in the field of high-temperature fuel cells and reversible electrolysers, announced that  the  company  succeeded  in  producing synthetic diesel from air, water and green electrical energy for the first time. The cleantech company has built a unique demonstration rig for power-to-liquids, which was inaugurated by  the German  Minister of Education  and  Research,  Johanna  Wanka in  November  2014.Recently, the plant reached its full operating condition and now produces synthetic diesel fuel with excellent  eco-friendly properties. On behalf  of  the  project  partner  Audi,an independent  laboratory  confirmed  that  the  outstanding  characteristics  of  the  fuel are superior  to the  properties  of  fossil  fuel. sunfire, one of the top 100 companies in clean technologies worldwide, is supported by several corporate venture capital companies and funds, including Bilfinger Venture Capital, Total Ventures, KfW and Electranova Capital, a venture capital funds financed by Allianz and EDF.

Today, a revolutionary step for the German energy transitiohas been made in Berlin, Germany: sunfire filled the Audi A8, used as official car by the Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka, with a few litres of the synthetic fuel. The Ministry had supported the development of the manufacturing plant in Dresden. The new fuel is a synthetic diesel-distillate based on “Blue Crude” (hydrocarbons) .In the following video, sunfire shows how the first litres were abstracted:
Audi,  German  car  manufacturer  and  project  partner of  sunfire, exposed the synthetic diesel to laboratory tests, with the result that the fuel was approved. The analysis shows that its properties are superior to fossil fuel. The synthetic sunfire diesel does not contain any sulphur or fossil oil and thus is particularly  eco-friendly. sunfire-CTO Christian  von  Olshausen says: “The engine runs quieter and fewer pollutants are being created”. The cetane number is very high (roughly 70) and ensures a cleaner and better combustion as a blending component for conventional diesel fuel. The power-to-liquids technology reaches system efficiencies of about 70 per cent. The centrepiece of the three-stage procedure is the reversible electrolysis (rSOC) based on the Solid Oxide Power Core. The rSOC generates hydrogen with an efficiency of approximately 90 per cent. The main advantage comes to the fore when electricity prices rise to a level that makes hydrogen production unprofitable: After a short turnaround interval, the system can be switched to fuel cell mode and used to convert hydrogen reserves or any another fuel back into power and heat.

The scalable power-to-liquids demonstration rig is able to produce up to 160 l (42.2 gallons) of „Blue Crude“ per day. In the next step a bigger plant should follow. “If we get the first sales order, we will be ready to commercialize our technology”, sunfire-CTO Christian von Olshausen says.

sunfire is finalist of the innovative EDF Pulse Awards

As developer and producer of reversible electrolysis and fuel cells, sunfire is one of the two finalists in the category„Science & Energy“of the EDF Pulse Award. The innovation award of the French energy supplier EDF will be determined via online voting until May 3rd. Participation is possible and much appreciated under the following link:

Further press material

Digital Press Folder:
EnglishVideo with refill (On Tuesday from 5p.m. CEST):


About sunfire

Founded  in  2010,  sunfire  GmbH  is  a pioneer in  the  fields of Power-to-liquids, Power-to-gas  and Gas-to-power. The Dresden-based cleantech firm develops new technologies for the efficient, closed-carbon-cycle energy  supply  of  the  future.  sunfire  focuses on  high-temperature  electrolysis, which enables the efficient conversion  of  regenerative  electricity to liquid fuels or gas, and on the further development of  high-temperature fuel cells. sunfire was  founded by Carl Berninghausen, Christian von Olshausen and  Nils Aldag. The company is supported by the business angels, Bilfinger Venture Capital, ERP Startfonds at KfW, Total Energy Ventures and Electranova Capitala cleantech venture capital fund managed by Idinvest Partners and sponsored by EDF Group and Allianz.


sunfire GmbH, press release, 2015-04-21.


Audi AG
Bilfinger Tebodin
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
EDF - Électricité de France
Electranova Capital
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)
Sunfire GmbH


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