Porsche's synthetic fuel: a green kind of gasoline to save internal combustion engines!
Porsche has always been at the forefront of technology. And not only on the performance side! In fact, it was Ferdinand Porsche who designed the very first hybrid vehicle in history, the Lohner-Porsche, produced from 1900 to 1905. This means that electricity has been around for a long time at Porsche! Therefore, it is not surprising that their range currently includes several models that combine sportiness and hybridization. Some of them even offer all-electric athleticism, as it is the case with the recent Taycan.
These days, it's no secret that electromobility is in the mind of everybody. Nonetheless, motorsports are still synonymous with gasoline and internal combustion engines. And Porsche knows this very well! That's why the manufacturer recently revealed that it is working on a very promising alternative energy called eFuel, to save vehicles with an internal combustion engine (“I.C.E”) in an eco-friendly way. Porsche Lauzon, your Porsche dealer of choice on the North Shore of Montreal, tells you all about it below!
Similar to gasoline but produced in a much greener way: e-Fuel!
Yes, you’re reading that right: eFuel is close to gasoline in its use, and yet its production is much more environmentally friendly.
How is this possible? Thanks to the two main ingredients (water and carbon dioxide), as well as the method to produce this greener fuel! The process is relatively simple:
- The first step is the electrolysis of water, splitting it into its two components: hydrogen and oxygen gases.
- In partnership with Siemens Energy, Porsche simultaneously captures carbon dioxide directly from the air and combines it with the hydrogen produced to synthesize methanol.
- The resulting synthetic methanol can then be used in ExxonMobil's methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) process.
- The end result is that the fuel obtained meets the same high standards followed by all gasoline types currently.
Hence, with this ecological fuel, we are far from the conventional processes for the extraction and transformation of oil into gasoline!
A green solution with many advantages!
First, let's talk about the true positive points related to the production of this new green fuel, with data to back it up. First of all, CO2. Since this required element is taken directly from the air we breathe, it is obtained in a carbon neutral way.
Add to that the fact that water is a readily available and easily reusable resource, and that there is plenty of it on the planet, and you get what Frank Walliser, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport and GT Cars, told car magazine Evo in an interview: a synthetic “fuel” that allows combustion-powered vehicles using it to be as green as comparable electric cars. For this equivalence, of course, the entire cycle of production and use must be taken into consideration.
In absolute terms, the use of eFuel would allow for an 85% reduction of CO2 emissions! Moreover, since good news never comes alone, Porsche is planning to use renewable sources of electricity for the electrolysis.
Ultimately, the production and use of eFuel would allow for a significant improvement in greenhouse gas emissions. However, adaptations may be required for combustion engines and gas stations. Indeed, to be massively and quickly adopted by drivers, a product must be easy to use and, above all, easily available! But good news: a priori, vehicles will not need to be modified to run on eFuel. The same goes for gas pumps!
Thus, normally, no additional costs will have to be paid by drivers of ICE vehicles, or by the gas stations for eFuel! This would promote massive use of this new synthetic energy, as much by the owners of such cars as for its distributors. This eco-friendly alternative would allow, in the long run, to save internal combustion engines from extinction, and with them, the amazing passion that some of them create with their amazing exhaust sound and their performances. This is no small thing!
If it works, eFuel will be here tomorrow in the metropolitan area!
This is what the manufacturer seems willing to demonstrate, as it has announced that the first 130,000 test litres of Porsche synthetic fuel will be ready for 2022. This may not seem like much, considering the extremely high number of cars still running on gas in the world. However, according to Marcus Kabel, Head of Corporate Communications at Porsche, in Autoweek, eFuel production could increase to 550 million litres in five years!
In addition, the Zuffenhausen-based automaker will test eFuel in partnership with ExxonMobil during the 2021 and 2022 seasons of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup motorsports series, to subject the new fuel to the most demanding conditions, i.e., racing. That's how confident Porsche is when it comes to its eFuel research and development work!
Hence, Porsche is capitalizing on a practical form of synthetic fuel, which could be available quickly if the tests are successful. The salvation of internal combustion engine cars could well lie with the German manufacturer and with it, the salvation of automotive passion as we know it.
For more information on the progress of the manufacturer's work on Porsche synthetic gasoline, or for any question on the new Porsche vehicle lineup, contact Porsche Lauzon right now, your Porsche dealer of choice in the Greater Montreal area and on the North Shore, in Laval. It will be our pleasure to share our passion for Porsche with you. See you soon!