The end of the internal combustion engine might not be so final after all thanks to the synthetic fuels. The idea of using diesel and gasoline whose origin is not in petroleum, is not only a formula with more and more followers, but an interesting alternative to talk about low emissions if we take into account the real impact of a car throughout its life. So let’s find out what is the true potential of synthetic fuels.
When we talk about synthetic fuels, what we are doing is talking about gasoline and diesel like the one we can use in any of our cars, but which have been obtained using techniques that allow us to speak of neutral carbon emissions. In other words, the burning of these fuels does not imply generating more CO2 emissions, since enough CO2 has been captured in their generation process to achieve a neutral balance of emissions.
Neutral emissions, the key to understanding the use of synthetic diesel or gasoline
For this reason, to understand the relevance of synthetic fuels, the first and most important thing we must know is their production process. To produce synthetic fuels, regardless of whether it is diesel or gasoline, electricity from renewable sources is used such as windmills, photovoltaic panels or biomass, green hydrogen and CO2 captured from the atmosphere. After different chemical processes, the result of this combination allows the generation of diesel, methanol and gasoline.
At the moment firms such as Porsche, Audi, Neste, Siemens, Esso or Repsol are promoting projects that even already have synthetic fuel production plants underway. Yes, we are still in a very early phase of expansion for this alternative, however the use of synthetic gasoline is already becoming popular in competition and the goal is to land it at gas stations in the coming years.
In fact Porsche has already dared to put a price on synthetic gasoline, indicating a target price of 2 euros per liter once the production of synthetic fuel is carried out on a large scale. To achieve this, it is also very important that other car manufacturers and oil companies jump on the bandwagon, without forgetting, of course, the approval of a legal framework that encourages its development and subsequent mass use.
The price of synthetic gasoline is estimated to be €2 per liter
Moreover, although Europe set the end of the internal combustion engine in 2035 for newly manufactured cars, at the last minute he left the open door to the possibility of giving the green light to synthetic fuels if, when the time comes, they are capable of offering a real and emission-neutral alternative to fossil fuels.
And we cannot forget that, despite the fact that the future clearly speaks of electric cars, the European fleet will continue to have a high number of cars powered by an internal combustion engine, either totally or partially (hybrids and plug-in hybrids). Added to this is the need to offer an alternative to classic vehicles, an aspect where brands such as Porsche place special emphasis given the large number of their cars that still circulate on roads around the world (it is estimated that 70% of manufactured Porsches).