What are “E-fuel” and what are their benefits?

There is no doubt that more and more the movement towards clean transport gains more strength. Many companies still believe that the internal combustion engine still has a lot of fuel to burn. However, this fuel needs to be sustainable, produced from renewable sources. Germany, for example, has advanced development in synthetic fuels, which are produced without oil, using water and carbon dioxide available in the atmosphere as raw material.

Called “e-fuel”, fuels can be extracted in the form of gasoline or diesel and, therefore, do not require changes in current engines that use the fossil version of these fuels. Audi, for example, which named its product “e-benzine”, reported that the liquid emits less pollutants and allows higher rates of compression, for greater performance.

In an interview with UOL, Everton Lopes, technology mentor at SAE Brasil, informed that fuels have the advantage, like ethanol, of “neutralizing” the carbon resulting from their burning, in addition to taking advantage of the supply infrastructure. 

The manufacture of e-fuel undergoes a hydrolysis process, which removes hydrogen from the water for combining with CO2. The resulting gas is then used to produce hydrocarbon chains that will become liquid fuel. “The challenge is the large amount of electrical energy needed to separate hydrogen from water. This energy should preferably be of clean origin, such as solar, wind or hydroelectric, ”said Lopes. 

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