VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and its partners have launched tests of a new e-fuel produced from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) in Nokia, southwestern Finland, marking a significant milestone in the quest for sustainable fuel solutions for transport.
The project, coordinated by VTT, employs a combination of high-temperature electrolysis, carbon capture, and Fischer-Tropsch hydrocarbon synthesis to create electrofuel on a commercial and industrial scale, the Finnish research center said in a statement last week.
Under the initiative, significant amounts of synthetic hydrocarbons have been produced, which have been refined into a drop-in paraffinic diesel by Finnish oil refining company Neste and then tested at AGCO Power‘s Linnavuori factory in Nokia.
The tests involve fueling a Valtra T235D diesel tractor with the newly developed e-diesel, and measuring the tractor’s performance, fuel consumption, and emissions during the test drive.
“The e-diesel produced in the project is expected to be of high quality and meet current road diesel fuel standards,” Kari Aaltonen, AGCO Power’s Director of Engineering, said.
According to VTT Research Professor Juha Lehtonen, the e-fuel can replace fossil diesel in sectors that are difficult to electrify such as heavy road transport, shipping, and machinery.
The potential of e-diesel lies in its compatibility with existing diesel engines, offering a feasible and eco-friendly alternative.
The test results will provide insights into the environmental friendliness of the e-diesel with regard to harmful exhaust emissions, according to Päivi Aakko-Saksa, Principal Research Scientist at VTT.
The e-fuel project, spanning from 2021 to 2023, is a collaborative effort with funding from Business Finland, a government agency under the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, VTT and its corporate partners, exceeding EUR 6 million (approx. USD 6.6 million) in value.