Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Green fuels and power-to-x

Overall Course Objectives

To enable students to evaluate green fuels and power-to-X, including the role in a future green energy system, and advantages and disadvantages of the various fuels. A main objective is to learn how to design, model and analyse fuel production systems taking emissions, economics and thermodynamic performance into account. Note that power-to-X covers production of many different products that can be produced from power (electricity). This course will focus on the production of fuels from power, but also on the production of chemicals such as methanol and ammonia. Power-to-heat by using a heat pump is not a part of the course.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the role of green fuels and power-to-X in a future green energy system
  • List the most important green fuels – including advantages and disadvantages
  • Explain how these fuels can be produced from feedstocks such as biomass, CO2 and green electricity
  • Explain the concept of polygeneration (fuel, electricity, heat, biochar, fertilizer) and the potential benefits of high plant flexibility
  • Discuss the appropriate end use of each fuel type (combustion engine, gas turbine, fuel cell or used as chemical)
  • Calculate the climate impact of various fuels including the choice of production method and feedstock
  • Calculate the energy efficiency of the various production methods and the overall energy efficiency when including the end use conversion efficiency
  • Use economic data to evaluate the economic performance of different fuel types and production methods
  • Design and model a simplified fuel production system using component based thermodynamic software such as Dynamic Network Analysis (DNA) or Aspen Plus

Course Content

The course deals with fuels (and chemicals) such as methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), methane, ammonia and jet fuel, and answers questions such as: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each fuel? How can these fuels be produced? What is the appropriate end use of a certain fuel? What is the climate impact, economic performance and the overall energy efficiency of a certain fuel?

The main technologies covered in the course include: thermal gasification and pyrolysis of biomass, electrolysis, catalytic synthesis of fuels and chemicals, but also carbon capture and storage (CCS) for hydrogen production from natural gas, as well as carbon capture and use (CCU).

During the course you will conduct a design project in a group about green fuels or power-to-X. The project may focus on a specific fuel and could cover the following parts: 1) a description of the fuel, and advantages and disadvantages compared to alternative fuels, 2) the potential role in a green energy system, 3) possible production pathways and indicative economics of selected pathways, 4) a thermodynamic simulation of a simplified production system or a more detailed simulation of key parts of a production system. This simulation will be done by using a component based thermodynamic software such DNA (developed at the department) or the commercial software Aspen Plus.

Recommended prerequisites

41401/41045/41402/41416/41417, Basic thermodynamic knowledge is an advantage (e.g. 41401, 41045). Experience with thermodynamic modelling of energy systems is an advantage (e.g. 41402, 41416,41417).

Teaching Method

Lectures, exercises and design project.


See course in the course database.





13 weeks


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 41418
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Tues 8-12

7.500,00 DKK