To reach climate neutrality and drastically reduced emissions from transports is a huge challenge for society, industry and, especially, the automotive industry. The transition to a sustainable transport section includes a switch to use of renewable transportation fuels and renewable electricity, but since there will be a shortage of both, these resources should be used wisely and efficiently. In addition, there is a large potential to reduce fuel consumption in vehicles with internal combustion and hence reduce GHG emissions.
Towards sustainable ICE
What future for electrofuels in transport?
The transport sector is often seen as the most difficult sector to decarbonize. In recent years, so-called electrofuels have been proposed as one option for reducing emissions. Electrofuels - here defined as fuels made from electricity, water, and carbon dioxide - can potentially help manage variations in electricity production, reduce the need for biofuels in the transportation sector while utilizing current infrastructure, and be of use in sectors where fuel switching is difficult, such as shipping.
Shipping in 2020: Choosing the right fuel and propulsion system
Stringent environmental legislation is starting to hit the shipping industry. The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Tier III regulations require ships to cut NOx emissions by 80% from the Tier I level within Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and follow a 0.5% cap on the sulphur content in fuel from 2020. These requirements will force ship owners to look beyond today’s standard solutions.
Waiting for the fossilfree electric vehicle
We need both renewable fuels and renewable electricity. In most cases, small BEVs are better than petroleum-fuelled cars - provided a reasonable electricity mix. But we still need a substantial production of renewable fuels: The grid is transforming too slowly and the BEV share is not growing fast enough.
The internal combustion engine – a part of the future
Many are currently pointing out electric cars as the only solution for us to be able to drive a car in the future. The cars are marketed as cars without emissions but it's not that simple. Lucien Koopmans is a professor at the Division of Combustion and Propulsion Systems and believes that the internal combustion engine is one part of the solution.
Sandia Combustion Engine Research Directions FY2019-21
Their mission is to provide the combustion and emission knowledge-base needed by industry to develop high-efficiency, clean internal combustion engines adapted to future fuels. Paul Miles, Manager of Engine Combustion Research at Sandia National Laboratories in the US, presents their research directions for the next three years. "Electrification of the transport sector is desirable long term goal," he says, "but IC Engines are and will remain the environmentally preferred propulsion technology for much of the world beyond mid-century."
Fossil Free Road Transportation
After “The Grand Transition” road transports will be fossil free without any significant global warming impact regardless of type of powertrain used. Powertrains with best overall economy are likely to be globally predominant long term. A comparison of mobility cost for ICEV (internal combustion engine vehicles), BEV (battery elctric vehicles) and FCEV (fuel cell vehicles) fuelled by electro fuels, renewable electricity and hydrogen respective is reported in a study published in 2018 by German research network FVV (Forschungsvereinigung Verbrennungskraftmaschinen |Research Association for Combustion Engines) analysing cars and trucks in Germany post 2050. It is a quite complex analysis involving many assumptions and uncertainties, but bottom line is that the ICEV, i.e. the conventional combustion engine, may be the likely winner in many applications based on a mobility cost comparison.