Research Press Conference
Energy Supply is Future Topic of BASF Research
Solutions from chemistry for energy supply
An important customer industry is the “Energy & Resources” sector. Today’s forecasts indicate that population growth and the increasing prosperity of many people will drive up the global demand for energy by more than 50% by 2050; the demand for electricity alone is likely to double. “Chemistry as an innovation driver enables fundamental innovations for many industries which contribute greatly to improving resource efficiency and the use of renewable energy, and thus to climate protection,” emphasized Kreimeyer.
Researchers at BASF are working on new active materials for future photovoltaic technologies based on dyes and semiconductors. Organic solar cells made from these new materials are lightweight, semitransparent and flexible. The aim is to develop organic solar cells that convert at least 15% of the incident light into electrical energy, reach a service life of well over ten years and are significantly more cost effective than silicon-based systems.
Mobile storage technologies
The chemical company has been researching metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for more than a decade. Aluminum MOFs can now be manufactured commercially in an eco-friendly, safe and cost-effective water-based process. The highly porous materials have an extremely large internal surface area. One gram of the powder of the substance has a surface area of more than 10,000 square meters. This property enables MOFs to store large amounts of natural gas. When the technology is used in the tanks of gas powered vehicles, more gas can be stored, thus enabling a greater driving range per tank.
BASF ist also conducting basic research on stationary storage technologies. The company aims to develop materials and the system design for operating chemical and electrochemical stationary storage units, based, for example, on cost-effective feedstocks like sodium and sulfur. In the future, stationary storage units will serve an important buffer function in balancing supply and demand for electricity from regenerative energy sources.