Porsche digs in with e-fuel

Building begins in Chile on visionary synth fuel programme

1w ago

The joint project between Porsche and Siemens Energy to produce a carbon-neutral fuel took a major stride forward last week when building began on the Haru Oni industrial plant in Punta Arenas in Chile. A ceremony took place on 10 September in the presence of Chile’s Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet marking the start of this pioneering exercise that hopes to see around 130,000 litres of synthetic fuel produced next year, expanding to 55million litres in 2024 and 550 million litres in 2026.

The necessary environmental permits have now been obtained by the Chilean project company Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF) and Siemens Energy has also already started preparatory work for the next major commercial phase of the project.

“Porsche was founded with pioneering spirit. That’s what drives us, we thrive on innovation,” says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “We also see ourselves as pioneers when it comes to renewable fuels, and we want to drive development forward. This fits in with our clear overall sustainability strategy. It means that Porsche as a whole can be net CO2 neutral as early as 2030. Fuels produced with renewable energy can make a contribution to this.”

The Haru Oni project takes advantage of the perfect climatic conditions for wind energy in Magallanes province in southern Chile to produce the virtually carbon-neutral fuel using low-cost green wind power. In the first step, electrolysers split water into oxygen and green hydrogen using wind power. CO2 is then filtered from the air and combined with the green hydrogen to produce synthetic methanol, which in turn is converted into eFuel.

“Our icon, the 911, is particularly suited to the use of eFuels,” continues Steiner. “But so are our much-loved historic vehicles, because around 70 per cent of all Porsche sports cars ever built are still on the road today. Our tests with renewable fuels are going very successfully. eFuels will make it possible to reduce fossil CO2 emissions in combustion engines by up to 90 per cent. Among other things, we’ll be using the first fuel from Chile in our Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup racing cars from 2022.”

Join In

Comments (2)

  • It makes sense to reduce CO2 from small volume sports cars, like Porsches, which is why Porsche are doing this. It also makes sense for transport that can’t be moved to electric and where hydrogen energy density isn’t enough, mainly long hall aircraft and shipping. It’s not an alternative to going BEV as its such an inefficient process which means it doesn’t scale well and the running costs are too high (much more than petrol, let alone electricity).

      6 days ago
  • What a total waste of time and money. First of all, hydrogen fuel is NOT pure and clean. There are also toxic side products created in the process, like oxides of nitrogen. Secondly, there is no point using wind generated electricity to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen, a process that absorbs a significant proportion of that power in the process (because, laws of science), that you then recombine to make electricity again, losing yet more of that energy in the process from those same laws of physics! Just stick it straight into a battery. There is SO MUCH spare energy available from solar, wind and wave capability, that we can power everything we could ever want forever, once we finish building the kit... which is incidentally also the cheapest way to make machines that can make the energy we all want. There are still just a few remaining possible uses for hydrogen in the near-term. These are for heavy industry, shipping and possibly long-haul flights... but that's pretty much it.

      7 days ago