Synthetic Hydrocarbon Fuel

Facts for Prelims

Synthetic Hydrocarbon Fuel

News: Germany has proposed transitioning to carbon-neutral synthetic fuels for existing internal combustion vehicles instead of phasing them out completely.

What is Synthetic Hydrocarbon Fuel?
• Synthetic hydrocarbon fuel is a type of fuel that is artificially created through chemical processes using carbon-based feedstocks.
• It is produced by combining carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from the atmosphere with hydrogen. The carbon dioxide is typically sourced through direct air capture or other methods, while the hydrogen can be generated using renewable energy sources like the electrolysis of water.

Why was such proposal made?
• Even though electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells have zero-emission during usage, their manufacturing processes have significant environmental impacts.
• Approximately 90% of the world’s vehicles are expected to be internal combustion by 2030, and replacing them entirely would not be a zero-carbon solution.

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