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What are e-Fuels?

Electricity based fuels, or e-Fuels, are clean, carbon neutral, drop-in fuels produced from renewable energy, green hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO₂) taken from the atmosphere, or an industrial or biogenic source. e-Fuels provide transportation and storage solutions to the challenge of intermittent and remote renewable resources and a recycling system for carbon dioxide (CO₂) in our atmosphere.

How compatible are e-Fuels with existing engine technology? Why are e-Fuels called “drop-in” fuels?

e-Fuels are the same as the conventional fuels we use today - just cleaner and renewable. They are 100% compatible with existing engines and infrastructure (including pipelines that are used to transport liquid fuels). e-Fuels are considered a "drop-in" fuel, meaning they can be used by existing engines and infrastructure without needing any modifications at all . . . they can simply be dropped right in.

What modifications have to be made to cars or gas stations to use e-Fuels?

None. No modifications are required for existing cars, airplanes, ships, trucks, pipelines or fueling stations to use e-Fuels.

What type of energy will be used to make the e-Fuels?

e-Fuels take renewable energy and use it to turn air and water into fuel. Electricity from renewable energy will be used to produce green hydrogen by separating a molecule of water into oxygen and hydrogen, which, when combined with carbon dioxide (CO₂), creates the liquid e-Fuels. Renewable electricity may be produced from wind, solar or hydroelectric sources.

What is the carbon footprint of e-Fuels? Why are e-Fuels carbon neutral?

e-Fuels are considered carbon neutral because they are made from renewable energy and recycled carbon dioxide (CO₂). However, there may be some emissions resulting from raw materials supplies and product shipments that need to be included when considering the carbon footprint of e-Fuels' lifecycle. Our products and processes will be carefully reviewed by specialist life cycle analysis consultants to ensure that any relevant emissions are taken into account in determining the final carbon intensity (CI) score.

How can this be “neutral” if cars will emit carbon when they burn the fuel?

e-Fuels are considered carbon neutral because the carbon that is emitted when e-Fuels are burned was already in the atmosphere or is residual from industries, and it is recycled as a part of the e-Fuels production process. When people use e-Fuels, the petroleum they otherwise would have used is being kept in the ground, instead of being burned and releasing more carbon into the atmosphere.

How much energy does this fuel produce compared to conventional fuels?

e-Fuels are chemically equivalent to existing gasoline, methanol, or jet fuel. They have the same energy output as current fuel sources.

How does the e-Fuel compare to the conventional fuel it replaces?

e-Fuels have equal performance, are cleaner for the air and have a lower carbon intensity compared to conventional fuels. e-Fuels are chemically equivalent to traditional gasoline, methanol, or jet fuel, therefore the performance of the e-Fuels in engines is identical to conventional fuel. Because e-Fuels are created from clean air and water, they do not contain impurities, such as sulfur and other polluting particulates, which can be present in fossil fuels. The energy-creating carbon in e-Fuels comes from recycled carbon dioxide (CO₂) that is already in our atmosphere instead of bringing new carbon out of the ground as fossil fuel, so the carbon intensity of e-Fuels is very low to zero.

Is the production of e-Fuels impacted by available wind and sun?

e-Fuels are transportation and storage solutions to the challenge of remote and intermittent supply of renewable resources. The production of e-Fuels will be impacted by the geographic and hourly availability of the wind and sun; however, converting the wind and sun to a liquid fuel will enable transportation of the energy to demand centers using existing infrastructure over long distances and storage of the energy in liquid form, which is stable, volume efficient, and does not degrade over time. Furthermore, in areas where renewable electricity can be interconnected with an existing grid, the intermittency of the wind and sun can be balanced with the grid to improve the capacity utilization of the e-Fuels production to support their competitiveness.

How much land is needed to produce e-Fuels? What impact does an e-Fuel facility have on land access and use, as well as natural scenery in the area?

Approximately 250 acres (100 hectares) are required for hydrogen production and the chemical plant facilities. We intend to secure between 500 and 1,000 acres for each commercial site to assure room for construction and offsets. We strive to be good neighbors and intend to have a visually pleasing site and will screen with trees or other features if/where required.

What are the by-products/waste/contaminants of e-Fuels production?

The primary by-product from producing e-Fuels is pure oxygen, which may be released to the atmosphere. There may be small amounts of waste and contaminants removed from water treatment, which will be permitted and disposed of properly.

What is the environmental benefit of e-Fuels?

e-Fuels positively impact the environment by displacing fossil fuels, enabling the fossil fuel based carbon dioxide to remain underground, stored as the earth intended. e-Fuels also create a recycling system for carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, providing a way to re-use the energy of the carbon emitted by our forefathers and transition to a circular sustainable economy. e-Fuels provide a transportation and storage solution to bring remote and unused renewable energy to population centers. e-Fuels are used by existing infrastructure, reducing the need for new construction outside the e-Fuels facility.

How safe are e-Fuels?

e-Fuels are chemically equivalent to gasoline (or jet fuel or shipping fuel, depending upon their proposed application). As with traditional fuels, e-Fuels are toxic substances that can cause health problems through inhalation or physical contact. So as long as customary protocols are practiced when handling e-Fuels, the product is safe.

How will e-Fuels be transported?

e-Fuels are chemically equivalent to existing liquid fuel products, so they can be transported via existing methods (such as pipelines, ships, or trucks) without requiring modifications of any kind.

How long until we see mass-production of e-Fuels? When can I put this in my car?

e-Fuels are already in production. Mass production of e-Fuels is expected from 2026.

What companies are involved in HIF’s e-Fuels process?

There are a number of large global companies working with HIF to bring e-Fuels to consumers and businesses worldwide. To date, these companies include Bechtel, Siemens Energy, Porsche, Enel Green Power, Johnson Matthey, Exxon Mobil, Haldor Topsoe, Baker Hughes and Gasco, among others.

How much do e-Fuels cost as compared to conventional fuels?

e-Fuels are competitive now with fossil fuels in markets that have carbon pricing structures. Until recently, the high cost of renewable energy and carbon capture meant that e-Fuels were viewed as an unrealistic decarbonization option. Renewable energy costs, however, have dropped by 70 – 90% over the past decade. As a result, large-scale e-Fuels production facilities – located in areas with the world’s best renewable energy resources – can produce e-Fuels at competitive prices. Increased production capacity and increased equipment efficiency as e-Fuels are produced at scale are expected to reduce costs even further.

Are e-Fuels delaying our global transition to electric vehicles?

We view e-Fuels and electric vehicles as complementary solutions working together to minimize the effects of climate change and accelerate the transition to a decarbonized economy. Electric vehicles and e-Fuels will both play an important role in achieving sustainable mobility.

If the world is moving toward a fully electric transportation system, why will we still need to produce e-Fuels at scale?

There are more than 1.5 billion vehicles in use today, and all of them will continue to require gasoline – or a gasoline substitute like e-Fuels – for the foreseeable future. In addition, there are currently no plans to electrify airplanes and other large transportation vehicles; they will still require fuel sources like e-Fuels. Toward that end, decarbonizing these existing vehicles while we transition to EVs will play a key role in mitigating the impacts of a changing climate.