Environment & ClimateFossil FuelsSustainability

How ZERO® Petroleum synthetic fuels are fuelling the future of transport & aviation.

By July 20, 2022 No Comments

The race is on to decarbonise the transport & aviation industries. From passenger cars & heavy duty, off-highway & aviation; technologies are being developed at a pace to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

With a UK ban on the sale of new non emission free cars from 2035, the electrification sector has been being invested in heavily to ensure a smooth & effective roll out.

However, with current economic challenges facing millions of people in the UK, the expense of a new vehicle, let alone an electric one, is not something those struggling financially are necessarily able to procure.

Therefore, if there was a fully synthetic alternative to petrol or diesel which could enable our current fleets of ICE’s to remain longer term on the roads & also offer an alternative to CO2 free new cars/passenger vehicles; those budgeting could benefit from investment in such a product.

Regular visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed know the event to be one of first’s & this year was no exception. With the McMurtry Speirling breaking the hill record in their fan supercar & Future Lab exploring some of the most cutting-edge technologies in the world; the Goodwood Festival of Speed is an international showcase for the history & future of the automotive industry.

Another first this year was made by British Company ZERO® Petroleum when they fuelled the Duke of Richmond’s motorcycle with a prototype version of their new synthetic fuel, Zero® Syn95™.

Zero® Syn95™ has been developed to produce a carbon-free equivalent to forecourt petrol, with all the power & performance of a traditional fuel. The Duke of Richmond’s motorcycle required no modifications & the drop in fuel Zero® Syn95™, had no impact on performance.

“These fuels will not only allow the modern & classic ICE cars which are showcased at the Goodwood Festival of Speed & Goodwood Revival every year to continue running in a sustainable world; but will also fill a vital gap in the energy requirements for sustainable transportation by powering a vast range of future vehicles that have high demands for power, range & payload” (1)

Who are ZERO® Petroleum?

ZERO® Petroleum was founded in 2020 by Paddy Lowe, a graduate of Cambridge University. Lowe started his engineering career in Formula 1 (1987) & is known for his achievements as an innovator & leadership as Technical Director.

Lowe is recognised for achieving 12 World Championships, 158 race wins & leading Mercedes to the most successful season ever recorded: 19 out of 21 races in 2016.

Lowe is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering & an Honorary Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. (2)

ZERO® Petroleum is the first British energy company to make whole-blend synthetic, non-biological fuels – petrol, diesel, kerosene (jet fuel) – in a completely fossil-free process, using atmospheric carbon dioxide and hydrogen. (3)

ZERO® Petroleum have secured funding of £200,000 from investor syndicate Raising Partners Angels, as well as a £64,000 grant from Innovate UK.

What processes are being developed to produce fully synthetic fuel?

ZERO® Petroleum achieve their fully synthetic fuel production with a process they call Petrosynthesis.

Petrosynthesis – noun: the artificial creation of organic compounds (synthetic petroleum/petrochemicals) & oxygen from inorganic precursors (principally water and carbon-dioxide) using non-biological energy (such as hydro, wind, solar, tidal, nuclear, geothermal); the industrial equivalent of photosynthesis, using neither energy nor material produced by either concurrent photosynthesis (plants) or legacy photosynthesis (fossil fuels). (4)

ZERO® Petroleum have a five-stage process to manufacture their fully synthetic fuel:

1: Generation of renewable electricity typically by wind turbine or solar PV

2: Electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen

3: Capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

4: Direct FT® synthesis to produce the target fuel

5: Separation to produce individual certifiable products (5)

ZERO® Petroleum uses Direct FT® (a proprietary & highly advanced version of Fischer-Tropsch) to directly manufacture target fuels (gasoline, kerosene & diesel) at high yield & with no need for refinery upgrading. (5)

How is ZERO® Petroleum changing the face of The Royal Airforce?

On the 2nd November 2021 an Ikarus C42 aircraft fuelled by ZERO® Petroleum synthetic drop-in fuel, conducted & flight which has since been awarded “First aircraft powered by synthetic fuel” from Guinness World Records.

The flight is the first step in a joint programme which aims ultimately to defossilise the entire fuel requirement of the RAF & eliminate CO2 emissions.

Paddy Lowe -Founder & CEO of ZERO® Petroleum said at the Farnborough Air Show (19.07.2022)

“If aviation is to keep servicing everything from global travel to national defence in a carbon neutral world, we need a direct replacement for fossil-fuel – & synthetic fuels are ready to literally drop in & replace them.”

Written & cited by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/company/zero-petroleum/
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/company/zero-petroleum/about/
  3. https://zeropetroleum.com/
  4. White Paper – https://zeropetroleum.com/how-we-do-it/
  5. https://zeropetroleum.com/how-we-do-it/