Sustainable drop-in liquid fuels can dramatically reduce emissions now. Therefore, why are these fuels not already at the pumps?
According to the data, the transport system in the UK emits over 30% of the collective GHG emissions.
On the 18th November 20 the UK Government reinforced its commitment to banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.
Step 1 will see the phase-out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans brought forward to 2030. (1)
Step 2 will see all new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035. (1)
Despite the UK Government pledging millions of pounds to increase electrification in the UK, with millions being earmarked for charging infrastructure, battery production and incentives for end users; recent reports have seen a minor setback to their plans.
One setback was when Britishvolt collapsed at the beginning of 2023. The firm had planned to build a gigafactory to manufacture electric car batteries in Blyth, Northumberland.(2)
However, Britishvolt struggled to turn a profit and ran out of money, scuppering plans for the £3.8bn factory in Blyth and the creation of around 3,000 skilled jobs.
Furthermore, early in January 23 the APC predicted that the UK would produce 1.1million cars and vans in 2025, of which 280,000 – little more than a quarter – will be fully electric. This is a downward revision, with the previous suggestion being that 360,000 out of a total 1million vehicles – more than a third – would be EVs. (3)
This, the APC explained, is because an “uncertain economy” would drive customers towards cheaper new cars, with reduced EV production predicted as a result of that expectation. It acknowledged that overall production is expected to increase, however, with more hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles to be built. (3)
In a world where we are being encouraged to think electric, buy electric, invest in electric, there are other options for dramatically reducing tailpipe emissions now and instead of trying to reinvent the wheel; we can reduce tailpipe emissions with the ICE’s we already have.
Companies around the globe are rapidly developing bio-fuel alternatives to petrol and diesel. One significant area these liquid bio-fuel/bio-gasoline alternatives are making astronomical changes, is in the motorsport sector.
Formula 1 motorsport (F1) has undertaken a detailed carbon footprint analysis of its yearly operations. For an entire race season, approximately 256,000 CO2 equivalent tonnes are being generated. However, by 2030 F1 is pledging to make this net zero. (4)
As part of F1’s plans to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030, the sport is pioneering a ‘drop-in’ 100% sustainable fuel that can not only be used in F1 cars from 2026 but crucially can be utilised by most road cars across the world. (5)
It is not only at F1 level that investment in ensuring the sport has a future in its known format. At MotoGPTM level, they too are investing in liquid fuel technologies.
2024 will see MotoGP™ launch a new global era of zero carbon fuels. (7) MotoGP™ are working with manufacturers and fuel suppliers to develop an unrivalled selection of sustainable drop-in fuels, meaning they’ll be ready to use in the billions of standard engines and everyday vehicles around the world. (7)
Developing multiple fuels with multiple partners also makes the technology and knowledge as accessible as possible, reaching fuel pumps on the street. (7)
The ability for companies to develop sustainable drop in fuels and have them ready to be produced on mass, is a game changing opportunity for the transport sector to dramatically reduce its emissions now.
Therefore, who are these companies developing sustainable drop-in fuels and are any of them in the UK?
Coryton SUSTAIN® – Essex, UK
Coryton’s slogan “While the world talks about the electric future, SUSTAIN® is a solution for now” will resonate with many in the transport sector. From manufacturers and dealers to mechanics and end users; those involved in the manufacture, sale or purchase of an ICE based vehicle would certainly welcome a sustainable liquid fuel future.
Coryton’s SUSTAIN® is part of Coryton’s responsibly blended bioethanol and bio-gasoline portfolio which can enable today’s vehicles to produce less greenhouse gas while using the infrastructure already in place. SUSTAIN® also allows society to move towards sustainability quicker because it’s ready to go. (8)
Coryton’s SUSTAIN® has been gaining traction in the motorsport arena. The drop in fuel was used by Prodrive and the BRX team to provide a near net zero fuel solution for the 2022 Dakar Rally. Prodrive and BRX needed a new sustainable fuel that could withstand the extreme heat and formidable desert conditions, whilst ensuring there was no compromise with performance. (9)
Coming second place in Dakar 2022 showed how there need be no drop in performance with SUSTAIN® racing and if four cars can save 85 tonnes of carbon by using Coryton fuels – imagine what a whole series run on them could do? (10)
Coryton have also worked with a major European touring car race series and fuel supplier to formulate a high octane RON race fuel comprising high quality renewable components derived from waste materials that still met the chemical and quality standards of the series fuel specification. The performance of the engines was indistinguishable from the fossil fuel version but offered significant GHG savings. (11)
ZeroR Petroleum Ltd – London, UK
ZeroR Petroleum made headlines at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 22, 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. (12)
ZeroR is the antidote to fossil-based propulsion technology. Not only is it a carbon-neutral fuel, but it also offers the same performance and range as its fossil fuel alternative. The carbon used is extracted from the air not the ground, making it a sustainable solution for the future. (12)
These are only two examples of how British companies are already able to offer drop in sustainable liquid fuels which can dramatically reduce emissions from established ICE’s and can do so now!
So, how come these fuels are not already in our garage forecourts and at our pumps?
Although bodies such as F1 and MotoGP™ are talking about drop-in sustainable fuels being available for standard engines and everyday vehicles around the world; the developers of these fuels still need the funding to get their products to market.
Thankfully, with F1 and MotoGP™ being at the top of the motorsport tree, it is hoped that their influence will enable investment in these drop-in sustainable fuels to get their products to market sooner rather than later. With these liquid drop in fuels being made readily available, the transport sector can be supported by a variety of future fuels all pushing forward towards net-zero.
In 2018 the Concawe report with research carried out by Ricardo, opened a discussion on how we should continue to embrace a selection of power sources for transportation & energy, rather than putting all resources into battery & electrification.
The Concawe report brought to light specific evidence which explored the impact of entire electrification across Europe & one area was the immense cost implications for ensuring electrification could be sustained.
The Concawe report highlighted the use of a combination energy & fuel scenario which would still be able to reduce emissions by the expected & dictated levels by 2050. The Concawe report evaluated the use of a combination of low carbon fuels, with biofuel & artificially synthesized eFuels. (13)
At the time the Concawe report was published, low carbon fuels, biofuel & artificially synthesized eFuels were seen to work alongside electrification. The report further noted that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) could benefit from the increased use of bio-fuel & eFuels.
Written and cited by Katy Mason for and on behalf of Dolphin N2.