HVO and e-Fuels - Alternative Fuels for a Sustainable Future?
Article from Felix
Are HVO diesel and e-fuels a sustainable substitute for conventional fuel? In this article you'll find out more about how they work and their advantages!
The topic of mobility occupies all of us almost daily. No matter
whether to work, to the shops or on holiday, it is always important to choose the right means of transport. When making your choice, it is always best
to choose an alternative that is as climate-friendly as possible. The car is
usually out of the question, as long as it's not electric. Or is that really the case? Faced with the challenges of climate change and limited resources, alternative fuels are the focus of technological innovation. Among the promising options, two are particularly interesting: e-fuels and HVO fuels. These innovative fuels not only offer the possibility of drastically reducing the CO₂ footprint, but also have the potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In this article, we take a close look at e-fuels and HVO fuels and explain how they can help create sustainable mobility.
Why alternative fuels?
The use of alternative fuels is of crucial importance in order to meet the current challenges in the field of mobility and environmental protection. Thus, e-fuels and HVO offer an alternative to electromobility, to ensure a sustainable future. One of the main reasons for the use of alternative fuels is the urgent need to reduce CO₂ emissions and curb emissions and mitigate climate change. The transport sector is one of the
largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, especially CO₂. Through the use of alternative fuels can significantly reduce emissions of these harmful gases.
Another important reason to switch to alternative fuels is to reduce dependence on limited fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are non-renewable and will run out in the foreseeable future. By using alternative fuels such as e-fuels, HVO (Hydrotreated (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) and biofuels, we can switch to more sustainable resources and secure energy supplies for the future. In addition alternative fuels also promote technological innovation and creates economic opportunities. The development and implementation of alternative fuels require advanced technologies and innovations in areas such as renewable energies, electromobility, biofuel production and synthetic fuel production. It is important that the economy does not lose touch with such issues, as sustainable mobility will become increasingly important in the future.
What exactly are eFuels?
The term e-fuels has been appearing more and more frequently in the media for some time now. We explain to you what e-fuels are all about, how they are produced, what advantages they bring with them, but also where there are still challenges. E-fuels, also known as power-to-liquid fuels, are synthetic fuels produced from renewable electricity, water and CO₂. They are produced using electrolysis and chemical reactions. First, water is converted into
Hydrogen (H₂) and oxygen (O₂).
The hydrogen is then combined with CO₂, which comes either from the air or from industrial sources, to produce hydrocarbons such as CO₂.
sources, into hydrocarbons such as methanol, methane, or even
petrol or diesel. During the production process, CO₂ is removed from the atmosphere and bound. This CO₂ is then emitted again during the combustion of the fuel when the fuel is burnt, creating a closed carbon cycle.
How does e-Fuel work?
These e-fuels can be used in conventional internal combustion engines
without the need for extensive conversions. In addition e-Fuels offer the possibility to store surplus renewable energy and to use it again later when needed, so there is no waste. Range is another advantage of e-fuel cars:
In terms of range, they are in no way inferior to conventional fuels.
But the truth is that availability is still very limited, at least in Germany. The expansion of the industry for the production of e-fuels is practically non-existent as of yet, so that, according to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, they will not be available nationwide until the end of the 20s.
They are also still comparatively expensive, but this is expected to technology and higher demand, so that a price of around 80 cents per litre can be expected once the fuel is ready for the market. Generally speaking, e-fuels will continue to play a complementary role and are not the sole solution for the entire passenger transport sector.
What is HVO diesel?
HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel is a synthetic fuel that is produced from vegetable or animal oils or fats. The raw material for HVO is thus obtained purely from renewable plants. The residues are converted with hydrogen under high temperatures and pressure. In the process, unwanted impurities such as oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur are removed, resulting in a high-quality clean fuel that has similar properties to conventional diesel. HVO fuel can be used either as a pure fuel (HVO100) or as a blend with conventional diesel (e.g. HVO50/HVO80).
More detailed information on production can be found at efuel-today.
Advantages of HVO fuel
This new fuel has a number of advantages.
- Through the use of HVO fuels, CO₂ emissions can be reduced by up to 90%.
- (HVO 100)
- In future, ´green` hydrogen is to be used to achieve even lower CO₂ emissions, so that the fuel is actually climate-neutral.
- In the future, even lower CO₂ emissions are to be achieved through ´green` hydrogen, so that the fuel is actually climate-neutral. Fat and oil waste as well as cellulose and plastic waste are recycled for productionHVO contains no sulphur-containing compounds or other pollutants that are burnt
- Newer vehicles are all able to fill up with HVO fuel, which means no conversion is necessary. Even our campers run on HVO without any problems!
- No loss of range or engine longevity
If you consider, for example, a road trip with a VW
California from Munich to Rome, which is about a 900 km drive, the absolute CO₂ emissions when refuelling with normal diesel are around 200 kg CO₂. the same distance with HVO diesel, emissions are reduced to a remarkable 20 kg CO₂. (All figures are based on consumer data provided by the manufacturers).
Disadvantages of HVO fuel
Filling station & availability of diesel substitutes
But what about availability? Especially in Germany, unfortunately there is still a lot of catching up to do. While some countries like the Netherlands, Sweden or even Italy are already increasingly relying on the alternative fuel, in Germany it has unfortunately not yet really caught on yet.
Particularly in Scandinavia, the HVO share of diesel sold is already 30-40 %. By looking at the interactive maps from efuelsnow.de you can get an overview of where HVO is already used.
Availability is being hampered above all by the high electricity
As a result, more and more chemical industries are turning away from Germany as an industrial location. Unfortunately, the production of HVO fuels has hardly arrived in Germany yet. Alternatives to conventional fuels are increasingly coming into focus, however, which means that a lot can be expected to happen here in the next few years.
HVO diesel price
Unfortunately, the sluggish expansion of production is also reflected
noticeable in the price. In Germany, the price of HVO is about 10-20 cents higher than the normal price of diesel. This difference will be much smaller in the future as demand increases and HVO production expands. In other countries, such as Sweden or even Slovenia, biofuel is cheaper. Ideal to see for yourself on your next road trip!
Basically, all our campers are designed to run on HVO fuel.
Would you like to try the eco-diesel for yourself? Just look for an XTL seal inside the fuel cap, which indicates that HVO fuel can be used without any problems.
Synthetic fuels: Conclusion
In the search for alternatives to conventional petrol and diesel, sustainable fuels are increasingly coming into the focus of politics, industry and society alongside electric cars. Some of them are even really promising and give us hope that, thanks to alternative fuels, we will be sending our campers out into the world with a much smaller CO₂ footprint in the future. On your next trip, just look out for petrol stations that offer HVO or use the interactive maps from efuelsnow.de. Just try it out and make your next camping trip even greener!