The fuel industry is looking at low-carbon liquid fuels in an attempt to keep the benefits of the internal combustion engine without its negative impact on the climate. The industry claims that closing the carbon cycle is possible with recycled carbon.
1. Recycled carbon
Recycled carbon fuels, as defined in the revised EU Renewable Energy Directive, include fuels produced from the utilization of waste processing gas and exhaust gas of non-renewable origin. These fuels are produced from the fossil fraction of liquid and solid wastes by means of thermochemical conversion technologies such as gasification, pyrolysis and liquefaction.
Although derived from waste fossil carbon, recycled carbon fuels are included in EU legislation because of their potential contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
These low-carbon fuels can respond to the needs of those citizens who can’t afford purchasing new vehicles and are dependent on the second-hand market for their next car. FuelsEurope’s Communication Director Alain Mathuren stressed “these users should also be offered the opportunity to reduce their CO2 footprint by increased use of low-carbon liquid fuels in their ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles.”
“Recycled carbon fuels, where they fulfil appropriate greenhouse gas emissions savings criteria, can meaningfully contribute to the policy objectives of energy diversification and decarbonisation of the transport sector for Member States,” concludes the statement of the ART Fuels Forum.
2. Internal combustion
In practice, these low-carbon liquid fuels are processed in internal combustion engines, which have been improved and complemented over the past years in response to environmental concerns. The industry believes that thanks to investments in R&D, today’s internal combustion engines provide enhanced power, driving range and ease of use while reducing undesired emissions.
“The CO2 released at the tailpipe by these low-carbon liquid fuels has no impact on climate because these fuels are circular carbon, either biogenic or captured directly from the air,” explained FuelsEurope, noting that these liquid-fuels are compatible with current internal combustion engine technologies and existing infrastructure.
Decarbonising the existing car fleet is an essential part of the energy solution & #lowcarbonliquidfuels are indispensable to mitigate the relevant emissions until 2030 & beyond as @studiogearup shows us in ‘Low-carbon mobility with renewable fuels’ study: https://t.co/hWZ9kwLHCS pic.twitter.com/KM2QWMmlOP— John Cooper (@DG_FuelsEurope) March 1, 2022
Recently on the French city of Pau, the 2022 edition of the Pau Motors Festival featured races powered by low-carbon technologies, such as electricity, hydrogen and low-carbon liquid fuels. “The availability and benefits of low-carbon liquid fuels are ignored by a vast majority of drivers and citizens. The Grand Prix de Pau is a unique opportunity to showcase what are low-carbon fuels and how easily they can be used in existing and new vehicles without any technical modifications,” said Alain Mathuren, FuelsEurope’s Communication Director.