b Innovhub SSI, Via Galilei, 3 - San Donato Milanese (MI)c Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Energia, Via Lambruschini, 4, 20156 Milano (MI)d Politecnico di Milano, Energy & Strategy Group, Via Lambruschini, 4, 20156 Milano (MI)The production of e-fuels is mainly based on the synthesis processes of green hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water (using renewable energy sources) and carbon dioxide (CO2) which can be captured from a concentrated source (fumes of an industrial site), from the air (through Direct Air Capture, DAC solutions) or by exploiting the CO2 of biogenic origin deriving from the production of biofuels. E-fuels can be considered climate-neutral fuels since the production process don’t release incremental CO2 and, thanks to their compatibility with internal combustion engines, they can be used to power road vehicles, airplanes and ships, helping to decarbonise the transport sector.
E-fuels have an energy density much higher than that of batteries and therefore allow for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in transport, while preserving the current circulating fleet of vehicles. It is also possible to continue to use the transport, distribution and sales infrastructures nowadays in use for current liquid fuels as they are also perfectly compatible with e-fuels.
The project presented in this paper aimed to define the technical-economic parameters of a demonstrative pilot plant, able to produce sufficient quantities of e-fuels (Fischer-Tropsch) to carry out performance tests, as well as to evaluate the technical and economic potential for a future development in the Italian energy landscape.