Commercialisation of electrofuels, a class of synthetic transportation fuels produced from green hydrogen and sequestered carbon dioxide, got a boost, when a Finnish consortium partnership of companies joined forces in a VTT coordinated E-fuel research project. The project brings together a group of companies across the entire value chain from sequestration of CO2 to electricity and fuel production, logistics, as well as users of the transport fuels in different segments of transport. The E-fuel research project is connected with the Neste Veturi ecosystem and received EUR 3.3 million in funding from Business Finland. Along with the joint E-Fuel project, Convion and other companies have their parallel but linked projects, augmenting the total effort aiming at e-fuel production in Finland. Altogether, EUR 6 million is invested in the development.
The 2-year E-fuel research project aims at developing integration of hydrogen production through high-temperature electrolysis using a solid oxide electrolyser cells (SOEC) with carbon dioxide sequestration and Fischer-Tropsch fuel synthesis, aiming at a breakthrough for Finnish technology on the growing world market for synthetic fuels.
Convion’s focus is on high temperature SOEC electrolysis, which is a central part of the e-fuel concept, and has a potential to improve total efficiency of the e-fuel production significantly. In a parallel project, Convion will develop an industrial scale SOEC electrolysis system based on its strong background in fuel cell technology and system design. Validation and testing of the Convion SOE system will be done in cooperation with consortium partners and experimental results are expected in 2022.
The aim of the project is to boost the overall efficiency of electrofuel production by 10 to 15 percentage points, and to bring commercial readiness of solid oxide electrolysers to low temperature conventional electrolysers. The market for electrolysis technology, which is a key to the production of synthetic fuels, is expected to grow more than 20-fold in the coming five years as the world seeks for alternatives for decarbonizing transportation sector.
Collaborating companies develop technologies and electrofuel and power-to-liquid value chains, supporting Finland’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035. With development efforts in three key areas – production of renewable hydrogen, carbon capture, and fuel synthesis – necessary steps in cost and energy efficiency can be taken to drive e-fuels towards commercial maturity to displace crude oil in production of transport fuels.
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