Get to know Frans Kremer from OWI

In the picture from left to right: Lei Zhang, Frans Kremer, Sandra Barth, Soufyane El-Baz

Hello, my name is Frans Kremer. I’m a project manager leader at OWI Science for Fuels since May 2023. I’m also responsible as team leader for the engineering team. After my studies (mechanical engineering/aerospace) at the RWTH Aachen I worked at several research and industry organizations in the Netherlands and Germany: DLR at Cologne (D), Fokker Space at Leiden (Nl), Bayern Chemie at Aschau am Inn (D) and MARIN at Wageningen (Nl). So, my wife and me have moved quite a bit, from the Dutch coast area down till the German border of the Alps. However, this enabled me to daily reach the premises of my employer on my bike!

At E-Tandem I’m responsible for the OWI Science for Fuels internal project management as well as work package leader of WP3, dealing with the characterization of the e-fuels developed within this project.

What was your original motivation to become a researcher?
Since my master thesis back in 1988 I’ve been involved in research and development, not just in all research organizations, but as well as at the industry companies named above. The thrive to regularly changing the working and living environment has given me the opportunity to keep learning new things and to meet new people related to research and development in several kinds of technical application. Besides the technical research it also has enriched my life regarding starting new interesting personal relation- and friendships. Technically and organizationally, it provided me with a large general background on many topics. Learning new things has been the big motivator for me to better understand technical development and its large influence and impact on this world around us.  By being even only a small part in the overall technical development it has shown me good insights into the need for small steps to reach the bigger goal.  This somehow philosophical approach in life does not stop me after a day of work jumping on my bike back home to my wife and going out with the dog for his evening walk!

What is your (main) research area today?

Within OWI Science for Fuels, I’m dealing with almost all its working area’s: energy carriers (future fuels & additives, chemical characterization, their ageing, and material compatibility), high temperature technology (mixing and combustion, HT material behavior and compatibility) and energy systems (fuel cells, reformers, combined heat and power), where often dedicated simulation tools and test set-ups are required to achieve the objective of the project.

What is the main objective of your team in E-TANDEM?
The team at OWI Science for Fuels, see picture, is mainly involved in the e-fuel characterization, where we together with Tec4Fuels and FincoEnergies (former GoodFuels) are characterizing the developed fuels, not just in its pure content but also in blends with existing fuels, in this case the MGO used for ships. By comparing it to standards we can check in an early stage whether the developed fuels within E-TANDEM are applicable and can be used on a rather short term. If so, this will contribute to the footprint reduction within this industry.  The characterization is not just dealing with physical and chemical aspects, but also looking at the material compatibility and lubricant interaction, ignition behavior and soot formation. So, we’re checking in a rather broad sense regarding applicability.

What expertise and facilities does your team have to meet those objectives?
Within OWI Science for Fuels a chemical laboratory is available, where density, viscosity, flash point, acid number, water content, corrosive effects and so on can be determined. It includes special facilities like the AFIDA instrument to determine the cetane number. Furthermore, we have available the Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), an apparatus, which makes it possible to detect the concentration of metal ions in fuels and aqueous solutions. Other instruments are the FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) to make qualitative and quantitative statements about the chemical composition; the TOST apparatus (Thermal Oxidation Stability Test) for determining the aging stability of fuels, based upon the DIN ISO 12205 method for determining oxidation stability, which is part of DIN EN ISO 8217 for marine fuels (distillate fuels) such as marine diesel. Finally, I would like to mention the RapidOxy instrument for determining the oxidation stability of lubricants.

Which aspects of your research at E-TANDEM do you believe are the most innovative and what unique opportunities does E-TANDEM offer to you and/or your organisation?
With our research we hope to prove that higher oxygenate HOEF e-fuels can be blended with baseline fuels and therefore perform a small but important step in the contribution of gradual replacement of current climate unfriendly fuels. E-tandem offers OWI Science for Fuels the possibility to expand its knowledge and network in this area, which we can apply in next projects This fits exactly our vision and mission.

How do you see the future use of the E-TANDEM results and the impact of the E-TANDEM project in our daily lives?
As mentioned above if E-TANDEM can develop a fuel, which, even after blending, fulfills current standards for ship fuels, it will contribute to reduction of the European ship fleet carbon emissions and directly help reducing the current climate change crisis. Of course, this project is only walking the first, but essential steps in this direction; however, after facing scaling up and reducing costs it has the potential for a real game changer in this area.

Project progress

© 2023 E-TANDEM

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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