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Power-to-X for Applications - your P2X network

What are eFuels?

June 2022
Author: MichaelHerrmann
Company: VDMA - Power-to-X for Applications
What are eFuels?

Politicians, experts from companies, but also the general public is now discussing eFuels and synthetic fuels for various applications and the benefits they can offer in the fight against climate change. But what are eFuels?

eFuels, in short, are synthetic fuels produced using power-to-X (or P2X) technologies based on water with electricity from renewable sources. The "e" here stands for "electric power." When eFuels are used, the same amount of CO2 is released that was previously captured during production. Therefore, eFuels are CO2-neutral.

What advantages do eFuels offer?
The key environmental and climate policy advantage of eFuels is that when they are burned, only the amount of carbon dioxide that was previously chemically bound during production is released. Therefore, such fuels are CO2-neutral; no additional greenhouse gases are produced during their combustion.

eFuels for ships
Shipping currently accounts for just under three percent of global CO2 emissions. This is hardly surprising: more than 90,000 ships of various sizes are on the move on the world's oceans. Fishing vessels are not even included in these statistics. Transport volumes at sea continue to rise, and with them - so far - greenhouse gas emissions. Battery electric drives and hybridization can make valuable contributions for short distances, but they are not an alternative for the high seas, where thousands of nautical miles must be covered reliably at a stretch. The internal combustion engine will therefore continue to play a central role in the future, but it will have to be powered by other, climate-friendly fuels that have a high energy density, similar to the fossil fuels currently in use.

eKerosene for aircraft
Well over 20,000 passenger and cargo aircraft are operated worldwide. Here, too, artificial fuels are one of the most important building blocks for making CO2-neutral flying possible. In the so-called power-to-liquid (PtL) process, liquid aviation fuel is created from hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
eFuels, mobile machines and co.
Mobile machines do their job in a wide variety of places, mostly powered with internal combustion engines. The range of applications and uses for such machines and vehicles is enormous, and here, too, eFuels a needed, since they deliver the energy density needed.

eFuels in the power supply
In a hospital, the power fails - a horror scenario, which fast-starting combustion engines take the horror out of. But such aggregates do not only pay off in emergencies. After all, renewable energy sources such as solar cells and wind turbines don't always actually deliver power. What happens when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine? Internal combustion engines fill the gap. With regeneratively generated, CO2-neutral chemical energy sources, electricity can be produced by combustion engines in a CO2-neutral manner during so-called dark periods.

eFuels also in road traffic?
Battery-electric driving is becoming popular. If the vehicles are "fueled" with electricity from renewable sources, they help to emit fewer greenhouse gases. But more than 1.3 billion vehicles worldwide - from cars and motorcycles to tractors and other commercial vehicles - are still powered by internal combustion engines. Most of these vehicles will still be on the road in a few years' time. Here, too, one way to reduce CO2 emissions quickly and effectively would be the rapid use of climate-neutral eFuels.

More information here


Picture: Shutterstock

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