Germany-headed power-to-liquid (PtL) and solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) technology developer Sunfire GmbH has announced that it has joined the eFuel Alliance, an interest group dedicated to the industrial production of synthetic fuels from renewable sources.
The eFuel Alliance is an industry initiative founded last summer to help achieve European climate goals through the widespread use of electro-fuels (e-fuels).
It represents a broad range of more than 120 companies and associations from various sectors such as the petroleum industry, plant engineering, the automotive and supplier industry, and shipping, and is committed to advocating, particularly at the European level, for the creation of framework conditions that will enable the market ramp-up of e-fuels.
In addition to the great support for e-mobility, it is now up to policymakers to improve the framework conditions for e-fuels as well. We can only achieve the European climate targets, which have been tightened further, by a ‘doing one thing but not ignoring the other’ approach, said Ole von Beust, Managing Director of the eFuel Alliance.
With the addition of Sunfire, a global leader in electrolysis manufacturing, another important part of the e-fuels value chain is now being represented in the Alliance. Sunfire’s membership brings into the alliance a company that creates the technical prerequisites for the use of e-fuels.
To produce renewable fuels with high efficiency, Sunfire uses the so-called power-to-liquid (PtL) process. In this process, innovative SOEC electrolyzers first convert carbon dioxide (CO2), steam, and electricity produced from renewable sources into a green synthesis gas, which is subsequently further processed using the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis.
The resulting “renewable crude oil” is then refined in refineries into e-fuels such as kerosene, diesel, and gasoline, which can be deployed in existing fleets and infrastructures.
This multi-option strategy would allow for better consideration of the practical realities of the climate policy, particularly in the European Member States that may struggle with making the transition to e-mobility at the pace that Germany and other countries are able to.
This is because e-fuels offer the opportunity to continue using the existing infrastructure and also to help improve climate protection in the existing large vehicle fleet.
In the coming decades, e-fuels will make an important contribution to decarbonizing the transportation sector. That’s what we believed in when we started developing e-Fuel solutions. And today – ten years later – we are firmly convinced of it. Because our technology is ready. For us to start building large-scale plants and produce e-fuels on an industrial scale, one last thing is missing: a reliable regulatory framework. The eFuel Alliance gives our concerns a strong voice. At this stage, when we are in the starting blocks, this commitment is enormously important for us, said Nils Aldag, CEO and founder of Sunfire.
The eFuel Alliance is actively involved in the revision of the CO2 fleet regulation and of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) as well as in other projects that are important for the success of the energy transition. It is steadily expanding its scope within Europe, most recently in Austria and with the establishment of an eFuel Alliance in Italy.