44th International Vienna Motor Symposium

Cost and Availability of Synthetic Fuels for Road Transport up to 2035 against the Background of Various Industry Needs in Terms of Raw Materials, Availability and no Alternatives to Decarbonization


R. Hassoun  MSc Ing., Dipl.-tech.-Kfm. R. Stanek, P3 Group, Stuttgart:



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The use of synthetic fuels offers the possibility of decarbonizing "hard-to-abate" sectors such as aviation sectors such as aviation and shipping in the medium term. Synthetic fuels

are seen as the only alternative to decarbonization in the medium term, particularly in the aviation sector. These aspects must be considered against the backdrop of various legislative proposals in the European Union (e.g., "Refuel EU Aviation") and the United States ("e.g., U.S. Renewable Fuel Standards") for broad market application with specific target volumes by 2030 and 2050. The shipping industry and, currently, the road transport industry see opportunities to continue operating existing fleets in the short- to medium-term with the help of synthetic fuels.

Various production methods exist for the generation of synthetic fuels. These can be differentiated according to production technology and the raw materials required for the synthesis process. The currently most promising paths for this, in terms of long-term scalability, are seen particularly in the field of hydro processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA), alcohol-to-liquid (A-t-L) and the green hydrogen-based power-to-liquid (PtL) process. Both the lipid feedstocks required for the HEFA process from tallow, edible and vegetable oils, algae and other sources, and the green hydrogen required for the PtL process, pose a limitation to synthetic fuel production in terms of their short- and medium-term availability, as several industries compete for the use of these feedstocks for different, non-fuel-generation-related applications.

In addition, the production processes are complex in terms of the required plant technology for fuel synthesis and, with respect to the PtL process, additionally to produce green (or blue) hydrogen, are not yet sufficiently scaled and require significant investments. This situation in turn leads to the fact that the generation costs for synthesis and the resulting fuel price are initially significantly higher than the price of fossil fuels, with a corresponding impact on the overall total cost of ownership for potential users in aviation, marine and road transport.

P3 analyzes the availability and cost of e-fuels for the transportation sector and derives an estimate of when, in what quantities, and at what and at what cost e-fuels will be available for road transport.



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