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News | A carbon-neutral future

Synthetic fuels could power carbon-neutral vehicles in the near future

Until recently, preventing around 2.8 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2050 seemed like an impossible vision. This could soon change with the help of synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels. A Bosch study has shown that these fuels can make a significant contribution to reaching climate targets if they are consistently used in passenger vehicles. In contrast to biofuels, producing this new fuel does not compromise agricultural land, as the use of limited arable land is not required. E-fuels are produced exclusively with renewable sources of energy as well as with the combination of hydrogen and carbon. The latter can even be extracted from the air through filters. These two elements can be combined to make synthetic gasoline, diesel, and kerosene.

 

 

“To reach the climate targets of the future, we need intelligent solutions beyond e-mobility,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. In fact, to reach the targets laid out in the Paris agreement, the European Commission estimates that global CO2 emissions caused by road traffic must be reduced by at least 50 percent around the world, and by 85 percent in the industrialized nations. Synthetic fuels could play a key role in this regard. The use of e-fuels would mean that drivers would not need to buy a new electric car to protect the environment. From vintage cars to family vehicles, every car can drive with synthetic fuels. Moreover, these fuels allow for almost soot-free combustion.

A promising development

Until now, the production of e-fuels has been very expensive. In the future, a strong market and favorable developments in terms of energy prices could mean that synthetic fuels are available for EUR 1,00 to 1,40 per liter, plus taxes. What is more, the current network of service stations could still be used, as synthetic fuels have the same chemical structures as conventional gasoline. The only difference is that the air stays clean.

However, e-fuels are still in development. This is why they are receiving the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy within the framework of the “Energy transition in Road Traffic” initiative. The cost of production facilities must be reduced and additional test facilities built. If synthetic fuels become more accessible and affordable, the carbon-neutral engine may well become reality.

Please find further information here.