Porsche and Siemens plan to build the world’s first industrial-scale e-fuel plant

Posted: December 2, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, hydrogen, innovation, Travel

Porsche 911 of a certain vintage

Basically they will extract CO2 from the air and mix it with manufactured hydrogen. Whether the economics stack up remains to be seen. If not, it could end up as another pseudo-green attempt to curry favour with global climate miserablists. Or as an expensive way to keep a few old cars on the road.
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Porsche and Siemens Energy have announced plans to link arms for a new e-fuel factory, says CNET Road Show.

The German companies say the pilot project will result in the world’s first industrial-scale plant for carbon-neutral synthetic fuel.

The facility will be located in Southern Chile in a bid to capitalize on the country’s strong wind energy, which will be used to power the plant sustainably.

The plan calls for an initial pilot production phase to produce around 130,000 liters of fuel — over 34,000 gallons — as early as 2022. Additional phases call for a dramatic ramp to 55 million liters by 2024 (over 14.5 million gallons) by 2024 and 550 million liters (145 million gallons) by 2026.

Wind energy will power the electrolyzers to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. CO2 will then be filtered out of the air and processed with the aforementioned hydrogen to create synthetic methanol. A proprietary methanol-to-gasoline process provided under license by Exxon Mobil results in e-gas.

Porsche says the liquid fuel will be safe without modification for all of its cars, including classic models.

Porsche, which is initially investing around 20 million euros (roughly $24 million, £18 million or AU$33 million) in the project, sees the creation of carbon-neutral gasoline as a complement to the auto industry’s drive toward electrification, not as competition with it.

Full article here.

  1. JB says:

    OK, this is supposed to be carbon neutral. But methanol is CH3OH. So where does the carbon go in the meth=>gas conversion? There are 4 hydrogen atoms there, which means 2 extra oxygen atoms are liberated in the original H2O reduction which need to go somewhere, safely.

    And the synthetic gas may be carbon neutral, but what about the NOX in the combustion by-product? Are they planning to use carbon-free oil in the engines?

    As always, the devil is in the details which are never present in these press releases of pie-in-the-sky panaceas.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    Extracting CO2 feedstock from a 0.04% source????
    Yes, it could be done, but as JB points out that CO2 will be emitted quickly, so no reduction in the atmospheric concentration but rapid reduction in the funds available.

    And a 400+ times increase in production in 2 years (2022 – 2024). I don’t think the engineers wrote that bit.

  3. ivan says:

    I doubt this will ever eventuate as it is just a way the car manufacturers are attempting to appear ‘more green’ to comply with the stupid EU green requirements and so save on the grreen tax which would be vastly more than they are out-laying.

  4. saighdear says:

    “first” we grow food-crops for Bio-fuel, now we are talking about harvesting plant food for eco-fuel. Now has anyone EVER done tests to grow plants in ZERO CO2 atmosphere? Maybethen someone will ge the message about CO2. I thought the germanswere so perfect and thought everything through. 4 Springssprung!

  5. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Anything below 150 ppm CO2 and life on Earth dies. Submarines try to keep CO2 below 10,000 ppm…

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    So if you are wealthy you can carry on driving your classic car collection as you will be able to buy hugely expensive “Green” petrol.

  7. oldbrew says:

    The original headline was: ‘How Porsche’s new e-fuel plant could pave the way for guilt-free classic-car motoring’.

    Are Porsche owners fretting about their ‘carbon footprints’? Seems unlikely.

  8. stpaulchuck says:

    another rat hole down which to shovel millions

  9. oldbrew says:

    Inefficient vs H2 fuel cells, need bigger fuel tank for same range, NOx emissions, etc.

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