This issue has not been given a lot of octane by the media, but as it is beginning to take shape, it is worth keeping it in mind. Of course it is not the trite tale of the change from combustion engines to electric ones, but rather an alternative that arises in favor of the same old machine. It is synthetic gasoline, whose combustion does not produce emissions. The statement – and much more its reality – falls like a green ring to the finger to the environmental concerns that press in the air of the world and in whose defense the current proposals are more than radical: to suppress in a rational term the engines that work with fuels Fossils, whose residues, even if they are down, are a source of problems of all kinds.
The rules are already written and with more or less close dates, although their reality is still confrontable, but even if the terms are postponed or cut, it is a fact that the world is turning towards zero emission vehicles.
It is clear that the automotive and fuel industries, especially the latter, prepare technical responses that compete with electric motors and allow millions of millions of current vehicles – and those to come – survive or at least coexist with their battery-powered counterparts.
A couple of weeks ago, in a very private interview with the president of Porsche, Oliver Blume, we asked him about the advances in synthetic gasoline, in whose development the German brand invested a large sum in a project in company with Siemens, the Chilean energy producer AME, Enel and the oil company ENAP, and this is a reality, in addition to the fact that Bosch already manufactures it and uses it in its fleets of corporate vehicles in Europe. And there are more actors in the story.
How does this work? The matter is complicated for the layman, but it must be cited knowing that many of us will remain more or less on the same platform of ignorance. Synthetic gasoline is reached starting from the generation of ecological hydrogen by separating it from water, taken from the environment, which is composed of this and oxygen, the remembered H2O. For this, an enormous amount of electricity is needed that would make the operation inexplicable and unjustified, except if this current is produced by wind power, that is, using strong winds, and that explains the presence of Chile in the matter. Its southern coasts, in the Strait of Magellan, have a succulent air passage to move the mills and achieve electricity without emissions or expense from other sources. And also free.
Once this separation is achieved, the CO2 is filtered from the air and combined with that “green” hydrogen to produce a synthetic methanol which is then converted into artificial gasoline, thanks to a license from Exxon Mobil, which discovered this process as far back as 1970.
The plant in Magallanes will produce 130,000 liters of this gasoline on an experimental basis next year, but in 2024 it can already deliver 55 million per year and 550 million in 2026. It goes fast.
Today, “electro-gasoline” is more expensive than traditional gasoline, however, with the overcrowding it will be worth the same or less than the current one born from oil and it is applicable to any engine without modifications or special specifications. This lifesaver for internal combustion engines not only applies to the fact that they can continue to be manufactured because they will meet the zero emissions standards that come, but also you can use the current worldwide gasoline distribution network, which is a huge advantage over the sale and supply of electricity And, most importantly, they can continue to meet the needs of the 1,300 million vehicles that roll today, and there will be many more in 2030 depending on gasoline and that cannot be paralyzed overnight.
Porsche, a motorcyclist whose religion is gasoline, is the first manufacturer to put money and strength in this new product that lubricates its ideas and knowledge. Formula 1 will also have this gasoline in its engines from 2025, and Porsche is tempted to enter that world with this new fuel whose technology will dominate widely at that time. AND If synthetic gasoline is capable of supplying the world, we will be in the unexpected scenario in which the windmills will give us the necessary electricity so that the motors have a syrup that keeps their pistons moving without damaging the environment.