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01.05.2019 | Guest Commentary | Ausgabe 5/2019

MTZ worldwide 5/2019

Synthetic Fuels

Zeitschrift:
MTZ worldwide > Ausgabe 5/2019
Autor:
Stefan Pischinger
Following the agreement reached by the EU environment ministers in Luxembourg, CO 2 emission reduction in the transport sector has become even more important; this tightening of targets by politics is generally to be welcomed. There is no doubt that the automotive industry will have to use all available technology options to comply with the new CO 2 standards. Accordingly, policymakers are now urgently called upon to design a legislation that is open to all types of technology. At present, electric mobility, which will certainly make an enormous contribution to reduce CO 2 fleet emissions in the future, is strongly favored over alternative technologies by "tank-to-wheel" balancing. However, synthetically produced fuels, for example from CO 2 and hydrogen produced by using electricity from renewable sources, have been disregarded by the legislation. Experts agree that such "e-fuels" are essential in order to come anywhere close to achieving climate neutrality within the transport sector. While in the urban sector 100 % electrification of individual passenger transport - possibly with fuel cell range extenders - is conceivable in the long term, this solution is not suitable for many other applications. For technical, financial, and environmental reasons, it will not be possible to electrify heavy-duty and long-haul trucks to a similar extent. However, goods transport is set to increase in volume significantly over the next few years, and the quantities of energy used by this sector are considerably larger than those required for urban short-distance transport. As a result, freight traffic (including shipping and air transport) will continue to rely on liquid or gaseous chemical energy sources in the future. In the short term, synthetic drop-in fuels could even be used to reduce the carbon footprint of the existing fleet - and thus reduce also the real emissions. ...

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