Alternative Fuels For Sustainable Development
On the journey to net-zero alternative sources of energy are increasingly important. Whilst electrification and hybrid technology is becoming more predominant in the mobility market, alternative fuels should not go unnoticed. They can play a major role in economic growth, producing a cleaner environment and decreasing pollutants.
Here are examples of alternative fuels that have been developed by leading oil companies.
GTL Fuel is a synthetic diesel alternative made from natural gas – the cleanest-burning fossil fuel – into high-quality liquid products that would otherwise be made from crude oil. These products include transport fuels & motor oils. GTL Fuel can be used in existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles, which can lower local emissions such as hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. GTL fuel which is produced by Shell is already in daily use with commercial fleets.
Hydrogen – the fuel of the future?
Hydrogen can be formed by the use of renewably generated electricity (solar energy, wind energy). BP is exploring the use of hydrogen to replace natural gas in industries such as steel, cement and chemicals, and also as a substitute for diesel in trucks. Chevron Corp. has signalled that it sees hydrogen having a role in transportation, as an industrial feedstock and in energy storage.
Many oil companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Infineum, have explored synthetic fuels (e-fuels) as a viable near-term solution to further maximise the efficiency and minimise the carbon footprint of internal combustion engines, by using renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to create a closed CO2 cycle when viewed from a holistic “well-to-wheel” perspective. Electrofuels could help decarbonise transport sectors like shipping, trucking, aviation and passenger vehicles. Most recently Porsche has partnered with Siemens to advance climate-neutral e fuels development.
Renewable biomethane is a low carbon, cost-effective alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). Biomethane is a naturally occurring gas that is produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic matter such as food waste. Chemically, it is identical to natural gas which is stored deep in the ground and is also produced from a dead animal and plant material. According to CNG Fuels, the demand for biomethane compressed natural gas increased by 800% in 2020 thanks to major companies adopting alternative fuels.
HVO is synthesised from 100% renewable raw materials such as vegetable oils, animal oils and fats, which reduces net CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90%. HVO is a paraffinic diesel fuel that can be used as a direct replacement for both red and white diesel. It offers superior operational and environmental performance over fossil diesel with vast environmental benefits that support existing logistical infrastructure. HVO fuel also tackles the environmental and performance issues seen by earlier generation biofuels and conventional fuel.
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