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Germany getting ahead with green petrol

A recent article by Daniel Wetzel published in Die Welt newspaper on 12th November 2014 entitled: “Vom Klimakiller zum Kraftstoff”, which translates as “From climate killer to fuel”, describes the progress made by German industry to develope an environmentally friendly synthetic fuel, which can be put in the fuel tank of a motor vehicle. See

The article reported on a company in Dresden called Sunfire GmbH, which is developing a high-temperature electrolysis system that uses water, carbon dioxide and renewable electricity to produce synthetic fuel in a process called “power-to-liquids”. Unlike the products of a traditional fossil fuel oil industry, the raw materials for these synthetic fuels are not extracted from the ground.

It has been recognised by science, that carbon dioxide enrichment of the atmosphere is a factor contributing to global warming and climate change. However, this toxic waste product could be reduced in the atmosphere, if we stopped burning fossil fuels and made use of the carbon dioxide itself as a feedstock for synthetic fuel. This is the goal of the engineers and scientists at Sunfire and the company’s partners in Germany, who hope to make the new fuel an economically viable weapon in the fight against climate change. At the moment the operation to produce the fuel is still at an experimental stage, but in future the team at Sunfire hope to produce around 15,000 tonnes of fuel a month. It has been estimated that the fuel would cost around €1 per litre to produce.

©Jolyon Gumbrell 2014

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