What are eFuels?
eFuels are the global solution to a global challenge - because with eFuels vehicles and plants can be used climate-neutrally worldwide today and in the future.
The fight against climate change is a global challenge and therefore requires global solutions. The eFuel Alliance is committed to the EU's 2050 climate protection targets and wants to actively support the transition to sustainable, modern and competitive economies in the EU. Achieving the ambitious climate protection targets and successfully driving the energy transition requires the use of technological innovations, which can only be ensured through true technology openness. These technological solutions must be applicable throughout the EU, but also in regions beyond Europe - regardless of their economic and purchasing power, their topographical conditions or technical requirements.
Electricity-based eFuels and biogenic synthetic fuels are one such solution. They are the alternative to conventional liquid fuels and are therefore ideally suited to reduce CO2 emissions decisively and affordably in the transport and heating market - all the way to climate neutrality.
How are eFuels produced?
eFuel production is based on the extraction of hydrogen. This happens by means of an electrolysis process that breaks down water (e.g. seawater from desalination plants) into its components of hydrogen and oxygen. For this process and further production steps, electricity is required.
In a second process step, with the aid of e.g. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, the hydrogen is combined with CO2 extracted from the air and converted into a liquid energy carrier: eFuel. Under high pressure using a catalyst, the hydrogen binds with the CO2. Because electricity is used for the production of eFuels, the procedure is known as a power-to-liquid process: electricity is converted into a synthetic liquid that is easy to store and simple to transport.
After processing in refineries, this eFuel can be used as eGasoline, eDiesel, eHeating oil, eKerosene and eGas and can completely replace conventional fuels. Moreover, due to their drop-in capability, eFuels can be blended with conventional fuels in any ratio. Existing logistics, distribution and refueling infrastructures, such as tank farms, tank lorries, pipelines and filling stations, can continue to be used.
The climate neutrality of eFuels derives from the fact that electricity from renewable energies is used in their production and only as much CO2 is emitted during use as was previously bound during production. eFuels can therefore make a climate-neutral contribution in all sectors where conventional fuels are currently used (e.g. transport or heating in buildings).
eFuels can solve two challenges of the energy transition: the problems of storing and transporting renewable energies. Thanks to the high energy density of eFuels, and because they can be transported at room temperature and pressure, renewable energies can be generated easily and economically around the world and transported anywhere they are needed using existing technologies. Which regions are suitable for the production of eFuels is shown in the Global PtX Potential Atlas, which was published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology and funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.
Comparison of the energy density
of different energy carriers
Compared to other energy carriers, liquid and gaseous have a particularly high energy density. Especially, petrol, diesel and kerosene can also be stored under room pressure and at room temperature. These qualities make it technically feasible to transport energy carriers – a clear advantage over other forms of energy carriers. Having the same chemical composition means that all these advantages also apply to eFuels products.