Lately, some car manufacturers are working on the synthetic fuelsas a possible solution to extend the lifespan endothermic engines, but without the emissions of fossil derivatives which modify the climate. Many of these “e-fuels” are in fact produced from biological material, even with atmospheric CO2 captureand would therefore have a zero carbon footprint.
The organization Transportation & Environmentalready known in the past for its in-depth studies on the level of pollution of vehicles throughout their life cycle, does not see them in a good light, and is indeed attacking e-fuels with a new report which demonstrates the bad environmental impact.
The laboratory commissioned by T&E procured approximately 100 liters of synthetic fuel, in three different formulations, and measured the level of emissions according to the homologation cycle and according to actual use, with particular attention to nitrogen oxidesresponsible for human and animal health issues.
According to the results, a car powered by e-fuel would emit up to 22-23 mg/km NOx, against the 24 mg/km of a petrol car, a result which drops slightly in real use, settling at 21-22 mg/km. Values substantially identical to fossil fuels, and which would therefore demonstrate their ineffectiveness in contrasting the levels of pollutants in Europe. NOx, recalls T&E, are linked to the famous PM2.5, responsible for asthma, respiratory and heart diseases, as well as tumors of all kinds.
The cost of these products would then be high, with an average expenditure over 5 years of approximately 10,000 euros more than an electric car. The only window left open for e-fuels concerns aviation, given the remoteness of the feasibility of medium and long-haul flights with electric aircraft. In this case, the decarbonization guaranteed by synthetic fuels could justify their use as a crossing bridge. The full study is attached below.