Power-to-Liquids technologies are on their way to commercialization in scale. E-fuels offer a way to expand the carbon-neutral transport fuel pool beyond biomass-based renewable fuels to replace fossil fuels in existing internal combustion engines. The end product is a transportation fuel suited for aircraft, ships as well as heavy and light road vehicles.
Development of high temperature electrolysis, CO2 capture, and hydrocarbon synthesis technologies have been completed in Business Finland funded Veturi E-fuel research project and the integrated technology is now ready for implementation. VTT and Neste have agreed to build a technology demonstration facility at VTT Bioruukki Pilot Centre, Espoo. The work has started by first modifications to the research infrastructure at VTT Bioruukki. During 2022 and early 2023, electrolysis, CO2 capture, and synthesis units located in sea containers will be connected to each other and VTT Bioruukki research infrastructure. The E-fuel project pilot runs are expected to be completed during 2023. Establishing the infrastructure for Power-to-Liquids production contributes to the strengthening of co-operation between Neste and VTT in e-fuel production development from pilot to commercial scale.
“Neste as the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel refined from waste and residues sees Power-to-Liquids as a possible complementing technology for future sustainable fuel production. We need breakthrough innovations and continued focus on research and technology development in order to provide cost-efficient and value-creating solutions for the future,” says Lars Peter Lindfors, Senior Vice President Innovation at Neste.
The technology demonstration will employ CO2 capture from flue gas, hydrogen production by highly efficient high-temperature electrolysis and fuel synthesis based on the Fischer-Tropsch technology. Both the CO2 capture and electrolysis solutions are provided by Finnish project partners, Kleener Power Solutions Oy and Carbonreuse Finland Oy as well as Convion Oy and Elcogen Oy, respectively. VTT will provide the fuel synthesis unit and technology and Neste carries out upgrading of the synthetic crude oil into fuel products fulfilling the specifications. Neste is expecting to see a successful integrated demonstration of technologies and to receive at least 300 kg of synthetic crude oil for synthetic fuel processing development.
Neste is actively building technology solutions and business to realize commercial production of sustainable e-fuels. Neste started this business platform in its Innovation unit in 2019 as part of its efforts aiming towards commercialization of Power-to-X strategy for synthetic e-fuel and e-feedstock production. Such pilot projects support competence development at Neste as well as more broadly and offer a venue for focused process development and R&D in key technology areas relevant to Power-to-X commercialization.
“Substitution of crude oil in transportation requires utilization of all sustainable solutions like renewable fuels, electric vehicles and synthetic fuels (e-Fuels via Power-to-X). Power-to-X is one technology pathway, which has the potential to unlock new raw material pools beyond biomass with innovation to accelerate emission reduction in transportation,” says Dietmar Huber, Vice President Innovation Business Platform Power-to-X at Neste.
Juha Lehtonen, Research Professor
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Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. We refine waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. We are the world’s leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel and developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. We aim at helping customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030. Our ambition is to make the Porvoo oil refinery in Finland the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030. We are introducing renewable and recycled raw materials such as liquefied waste plastic as refinery raw materials. We have committed to reaching carbon-neutral production by 2035, and we will reduce the carbon emission intensity of sold products by 50% by 2040. We also have set high standards for biodiversity, human rights and supply chain. We have consistently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies. In 2021, Neste’s revenue stood at EUR 15.1 billion.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is one of the leading research institutions in Europe. VTT drives sustainable growth and tackles the biggest global challenges of our time, turning them into opportunities for business and society.