Finnish firms set out to lead e-fuel race

A group of Finnish companies are working on the commercialisation of electrofuel (e-fuel) production using sustainable electricity and sequestered carbon dioxide with ESL Shipping among the partners looking to pioneer new transportation fuel.

A new two-year e-fuel research project aims at developing integration of hydrogen production through high-temperature electrolysis using a solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) with carbon dioxide sequestration and Fischer-Tropsch fuel synthesis, aiming at a breakthrough for Finnish technology on the growing world market for synthetic fuels. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) is the heart of the gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology as it is the process by which synthesis gas (or syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) can be converted into ultra-clean fuels and value added chemicals.

The market for electrolysis technology, which is a key to the production of synthetic fuels, is expected to grow more than 20-fold in the coming five years, a release from the Finnish partners stated today.

Commercialising these technologies requires long-term research and the creation of new value chains together with partners

“The e-fuel project is the first collaboration project linked with Neste’s Veturi research programme. In this programme, Neste is developing new, globally scalable solutions to reduce the use of crude oil in the production of transport fuels and chemicals, and thereby to mitigate climate change. Commercialising these technologies requires long-term research as well as the creation of new value chains together with partners,” said Outi Ervasti, a vice president at Neste.

“Finland has a good opportunity to establish a strong position on the Power to X market. We have every possibility to create strong value chains on a foundation of deep technological expertise. This involves creating cooperative networks among technology companies, large enterprises, and research institutes. I believe that this project will help us in developing the Finnish Power-to-X companies towards international leadership”, said Erkko Fontell, CEO of fuel cell specialist Convion.

Other company partners in the e-fuel research project, which has received state funding, are AW-Energy, Helen, Carbon ReUse Finland, Kleener Power Solutions, Agco Power, ESL Shipping, Meriaura Group, ABB, and Ineratec.

The consortium covers all parties in the value chain from sequestration of gases to electricity and fuel production, logistics, as well as users of the transport fuels in off-road and marine transport.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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