Could Synthetic Fuel Save Combustion Engines?

Tue 16th Feb 2021

With petrol and diesel fuelled engines set to disappear from the UK market by 2030, the tried and tested combustion engine is on its last lap, but could technology trialled by Porsche give it a stay of execution?

According to the company’s Vice President of Motorsport, Dr Frank Walliser, the company is set to test an all new synthetic eFuel, which according to Walliser will reduce CO2 production by 85 per cent.

Dr Walliser was speaking at the launch of the all-new 911 GT3, and while it was initially thought that engines might need adapting to process synthetic fuels, it appears that no modifications will be required.

“Synthetic fuels are very important to allow us to reduce our CO2 output,” said Walliser. “Emissions are way better than current pump fuel, with less particulates and less NOx produced; synthetic fuels have between eight to ten components whereas petrol today has 30-40 and not all of them are welcome.

“Synthetic fuel is cleaner and there is no bi-product and when we start full production we expect a CO2 reduction of 85 percent. From a ‘well to wheel’ perspective - and you have to consider the well to wheel impact of all vehicles - this will be the same level of CO2 produced in the manufacture and use of an electric vehicle.”

The development from Porsche shows that many car manufacturers haven’t given up on combustion engines quite yet, however the technology is still in its early stages of development and will require a fast-track to widespread use if it is to beat th 2030 deadline in the UK. But could the eFuel give an extended lease of life to existing petrol and diesel engines?