What is Porsche’s E-Fuel & Will it Save Gasoline Powered Cars?

Image of a field with a e-fuel producing station

As time is passing, displacement figures in gasoline powered cars are being reduced. With newer cars relying on turbocharging methods to fill up that gap. Restrictions are especially heavy in Europe, where a good chunk of car manufacturers are situated. Even cars with a heritage such as the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro which rely on gas-sucking engines are being either discontinued or going electric. If such tends continue gasoline powered cars, fuel dependent machinery and infrastructure such as gas stations will become obsolete, wasting an already well-established infrastructure. To prevent this from happening, efuel is being produced, with big companies such as Porsche and Siemens taking initiative. So, will synthetic gasoline save ice (internal combustion engines) cars? Let’s find out.

1. What is E-Fuel?

Image of a e-fuel barrel

E-Fuel or synthetic gasoline is artificially produced gasoline made without the consumption of fossil fuels. Produced in industries, the output is the same as conventional fuel, making it compatible with existing fuel dependent engines. In recent years Siemens Energy and Porsche along with a few more companies have taken initiative for the production of efuel. E-fuel is now even being produced by Porsche at a small factory in Chile with more establishments on the way.

2. How it’s created:

Flow diagram of how synthetic fuel is created

E-Fuel is created by an eco-friendly method. Following are the steps included:

  • Electricity is created through renewable energy sources such as wind-power or solar energy.
  • The electricity is run through water and a process called electrolysis takes place, in which 2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom split apart per molecule. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere while Hydrogen in collected.
  • Carbon Dioxide is collected through large infrastructures which act as air catching devices. Air containing CO2 enters these machines and exit carbon free. Reducing amounts of CO2. The filtered CO2 is stored.
  • CO2 and Hydrogen are reacted together at high temperature in presence of catalyst. The result is a hydrocarbon, specifically methanol.
  • Methanol is then refined, mixed, blended and passed through a series of reactions that produce Gasoline.

3. Advantages & Practicality:

A shed with banners of partners

Advantages:

  1. First of all, the whole process is a closed carbon cycle. Means carbon is filtered and then the same amount returns to the environment through tailpipe emissions. Hence, there is no environmental impact making it an environment friendly process.
  2. Another advantage is one of the primary reasons for this demonstration and this initiative. By keeping gasoline available, that is by synthetic production, the well-established fuel-based infrastructure will not go waste and can be reused instead.
  3. No matter how much of the EV market grows, an alternate source of energy is beneficial, so convenience can be choosed.
  4. E-Fuel can be used as a temporary supply of energy till a good charging network is established. Especially in countries and regions where EV’s have not took off.

-Practicality:

If we talk about practicality, then NO, this process of developing synthetic gasoline is not practical, at least not for now. A variety of steps have to be taken place before the desired result is obtained, adding to the cost. A gallon of E-Fuel is rumored to be about $40 making it a very costly choice. Secondly, when this E-Fuel is transferred from the production plant to gas stations, the transferring vehicles such as ships and planes themselves use conventional gasoline, adding hydrocarbons to the atmosphere and making the whole process pointless. However, do note that these problems will only be faced during the initial stage and will probably be rectified as this process becomes more mainstream.

4. Environmental Impact?

Image of a blue Porsche Panamera

As mentioned before, the process of producing E-Fuel takes place in a closed carbon cycle, making it relatively eco-friendly. However, the problem of transferring remains to be solved.

5. Will E-Fuel Save Combustion Engines?

Image of an 8.4L Viper V10 engine

So, to sum it up, YES! E-Fuel can save combustion engines provided that more companies take part in its production & distribution, more production plants are established, the transportation problem is solved and cost of synthetic fuel drops. Even if this project fails, it will always play some important role one way or another.

6. Gasoline vs Electric:

A comparison image of an ICE Hyundai and an electric Hyundai.

If you are of the opinion that E-Fuel becoming mainstream will end EV’s, well then, that is probably not going to happen. EV technology has vastly improved within the last decade, and it seems to have massive potential. Just a decade has passed and cars like the Rimac Nevera and Tesla Plaid are setting records. EV’s are here to stay. The thing is that is E-Fuel is supposed to be an alternate route to going electric. But if E-Fuel allows me to rev my engine and revive V8’s, then I am all in for it!


Also Read: Here Are The 15 Best JDM Cars of All Time

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