E-fuels: Introduction

  • E-fuels/electrofuels are type of advanced fuels that are produced with the help of electricity from renewable energy sources and water & carbon dioxide from air. The production process of e-fuels involves production of hydrogen using renewable electricity followed by mixing of hydrogen with carbon dioxide to get a hydrocarbon with zero net greenhouse gas emission.
  • E-fuels are similar to petroleum-based fuels, but they can burn more cleanly and efficiently. Petroleum-based fuels are derived from refining of crude oil. Production of petroleum-based fuels emits more hydrocarbons into the nature. This leads to depletion of ozone layer and thus encourages global warming phenomenon. On the other hand, e-fuel can act as a complete climate-neutral energy source.
  • E-fuels are in danger of being replaced by the advent of electric vehicles. In present scenario more than 90% of the total energy required for propulsion in the transport sector is derived from liquid fuels. Millions of vehicles are in operation. The main challenge facing electric vehicles is the absence of the necessary infrastructure for charging of batteries. It is also very expensive. E-fuels would not require any other infrastructure, as they can utilize the existing infrastructure, including tank farms, pipelines, vehicle fleets, and filling stations.
  • Thus, rise in usage of e-fuels as the complete climate-neutral energy source and lack of additional requirement of infrastructure for storage and distribution are expected to boost the demand for e-fuels in the near future.

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Key Drivers and Restraints of E-fuels Market

  • Compared to other energy sources such as lithium batteries, liquid fuels derived from crude oil such as petrol, diesel, and kerosene possess higher energy density. These liquid fuels can also be kept under room pressure and at room temperature. These qualities make liquid fuels favorable over other types of energy sources. E-fuels have similar chemical composition as that of liquid fuels; hence, the advantages mentioned above also apply to e-fuels. Batteries used in electric vehicles are not only costly to produce, but also require large amount of lithium sources as raw materials. Lithium mining can pose a serious threat to the environment through the damage to the landscape and via emission of greenhouse gases. Thus, limitation of batteries as electric sources in electric vehicles is anticipated to boost the demand for e-fuels in the near future.
  • Production of E-fuels is a complex process. Operating cost associated with the production is on a higher side, as production of e-fuels has not yet reached a sufficient state of maturity. Conversion losses during the electrolysis process are higher. This impacts the production efficiency of e-fuels, thus hampering the e-fuels market.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis on Supply Chain

  • Governments of several countries across the globe have imposed stringent lockdowns to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Movement of individuals and economic activities related to goods and services came to a halt because of lockdowns. Many automotive players halted the production of motor vehicles. Temporary closure of public transport services led to a drop in consumption of liquid fuels. Decline in production of motor vehicles as well as closure of public transport services adversely affected the usage of e-fuels.

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E-fuels Market Segmentation

  • The global e-fuels market can be segmented based on type, conversion process, source of carbon, and end-user
  • In terms of type, the global e-fuels market can be divided into e-diesel, e-gasoline, e-kerosene, e-jet fuel, ammonia, hydrogen, methane, methanol, and others
  • In terms of conversion process, the global e-fuels market can be segregated into power-to-X (PtX), power-to-gas (PtG), and power-to-liquid (PtL)
  • In terms of source of carbon, the global E-fuels market can be classified into non-biogenic origin, biomass based, and direct air capture
  • Based on end-user, the global e-fuels market can be divided into road transport, shipping, aviation, heating, industry, and others

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E-fuels Market: Regional Segmentation

  • In terms of region, the global e-fuels market can be split into Middle East & Africa, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America
  • North America is anticipated to dominate the global e-fuels market during the forecast period. According to the Reuters Agency, consumption of petroleum and other liquid fuel in the U.S. is expected to rise by 1.49 million bpd and reach to 19.61 million bpd by the end of 2021. Thus, use of e-fuel as an alternative to other conventional liquid fuels is anticipated to rise during the forecast period in the region.
  • Asia Pacific is expected to be a highly lucrative region of the global e-fuels market during the forecast period. China, Australia, Japan, and India are key countries in terms of consumption of liquid fuels around the world.
  • Europe is one of the key regions of the global e-fuels market. The region has strict government regulations regarding greenhouse gas emission. Growth of sustainable practices in countries such as Germany, Russia, Poland, and Turkey to protect the environment is expected to drive the e-fuels market in Europe in the next few years.

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Key Players Operating in Global Market

  • Nordic Electrofuel AS
  • Sunfire GmbH
  • ENEOS Corporation
  • Siemens Energy
  • Neste
  • Norsk e-Fuel AS
  • Ørsted A/S
  • Repsol S.A

Global E-fuels Market: Research Scope

Global E-fuels Market, by Type

  • E-diesel
  • E-gasoline
  • E-kerosene
  • E-jet fuel
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen
  • Methane
  • Methanol
  • Others

Global E-fuels Market, by Conversion Process

  • Power-to-X (PtX)
  • Power-to-Gas (PtG)
  • Power-to-Liquid (PtL)

Global E-fuels Market, by Source of Carbon

  • Non-biogenic Origin
  • Biomass-based
  • Direct Air Capture

Global E-fuels Market, by End-user

  • Road Transport
  • Shipping
  • Aviation
  • Heating
  • Industry
  • Others

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