Synthetic fuels based on CO2 are gaining popularity as a potential means of lowering transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum use. Power-to-liquids, or “electrofuels,” are the most well-known type of CO2-based synthetic fuel. These fuels may be used to make drop-in diesel or gasoline, methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), or other fuels that can be used in cars, ships, aircraft, or other vehicles.
Synthetic fuels based on CO2 have been produced in relatively small quantities up to this point, but production might rise with the right legislative backing. For example, CO2-based synthetic fuels are included as an acceptable route to achieving the 2030 objective for renewable energy in transportation in the European Commission’s proposal for a recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).
Even though there are two potential sources of CO2 for synthetic fuels—direct collection from ambient air and industrial waste gases—this study has concentrated on the latter because the technology is thought to be more advanced.
A switch to new low-carbon fuel technologies may occur when the European Union (EU) enters a new phase in its renewable energy strategy. The European Commission published a proposal in November 2016 for a revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) for the years 2021–2030, which includes a target of 6.8% for renewable energy in transportation. This aim can only be met by advanced alternative fuels derived from non-food sources, and “Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin” is one of the fuel categories that qualify.
It has been observed that In comparison to petroleum, CO2-based synthetic fuels made from extra renewable power, such as wind electricity generated during off-peak nighttime hours for no other use, may have a very low carbon footprint.
Source: CO2-Based Synthetic Fuel: Assessment of Potential European Capacity and Environment Performance