Porsche's eFuel Could Help Gas Cars Stick Around

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【Summary】Thanks to cutting-edge chemistry, the automaker’s synthetic gasoline will allow consumers to continue using their gas-powered vehicles without significantly impacting the environment.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Dec 14, 2021 5:00 AM PT
Porsche's eFuel Could Help Gas Cars Stick Around

Electrified vehicles are the future for the automotive industry. Hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles are far more efficient than vehicles that are solely powered by internal combustion engines and meet tightening regulations. While the automotive industry quickly moved to electrified vehicles and attempted to make gas-powered vehicles more efficient by making smaller engines and fitting them with turbochargers, no one really looked at the gas itself. While it's coming a little late, Porsche and a large number of partners are looking to come out with a carbon-neutral liquid fuel that it's calling eFuel.

eFuel Will Keep Gas Cars Alive

eFuel well certainly help gas-powered vehicles stay on American roads longer, but not indefinitely. Until then, something like eFuel can drastically make gas-powered vehicles more efficient. The main effort with eFuel is to burn and perform similarly to what you find on the market today, but have less impact on the environment, claims CNET's Roadshow after attending a media event the automaker held. As Jan Ohmstedt, project manager for Porsche's eFuels project stated, the synthetic fuel is a way of cleaning up cars with an internal combustion engine.

To make eFuel, Porsche has partnered with ExxonMobil, Gasco, Siemens Energy, and others. Together, these companies broke ground on a test facility in Magallanes province, Chile. The companies chose Chile because of the country's and windy conditions make it a prime place to utilize renewable energy from wind. Ohmstedt told the outlet that the region gets 270 days of full wind power, making it the ideal location to get renewable energy to make eFuel.

The facility, when it's up and running next year, will be able to produce 130,000 liters of eFuel annually. That's not an impressive figure, but it should go up in the future. Additionally, that production figure is based on one wind turbine. By 2024, Porsche and its partners hope to increase fuel production to 55 million liters in 2024 and 550 million in 2026.

How The Process Works

As CNET points out, eFuel is made when wind turbines create electricity that's used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis. The hydrogen is combined with carbon dioxide that's plucked from the air, which is then synthesized into methanol. The last step is to convert the methanol into gasoline. The outlet claims that the same process can be used to make synthetic kerosene, which could be used to make the shipping and aviation industries cleaner.

eFuel sounds like an excellent alternative to regular gasoline, but it won't be available to purchase anytime soon. The first batch of eFuel will be used in the 2022 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup before being pushed to to vehicles that can be driven on the road.

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