Electrofuels, also known as power-to-gas/liquids/fuels, e-fuels, or synthetic fuels, are syn­thetic hydrocarbons, e.g. methane or methanol, produced from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water with electricity as primary energy source. They are interesting for several reasons as they could play an important role as future transport fuel, store intermittent electricity production or provide an opportunity for biofuel producers to increase the yield from the same amount of biomass. However, there is a lack of energy system studies of electrofuels.

Maria Grahn, Chalmers, has led a project with the overall purpose to deepen the knowledge of electrofuels by mapping and analyzing the technical and economic potential and by analyzing the potential role of electrofuels in the future energy system aiming to reach stringent climate targets. The project is titled The role of electrofuels: a cost-effective solution for future transport? and has been a part of the f3 and Swedish Energy Agency collaborative research program Renewable transportation fuels and systems.

Besides an extended summary report, the project has delivered two scientific articles. The first paper maps, categorizes, and quantifies all major point sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial and combustion processes in Sweden. It also estimates the Swedish technical potential for electrofuels (power-to-gas/fuels) based on carbon capture and utilization. The second paper assesses the production cost of electrofuels through (i) a literature review, focusing on which steps that have the largest impact as well as the greatest uncertainty; (ii) a more comprehensive review, including the costs and efficiencies for the separate production steps, and (iii) calculations to compare the production costs of the different fuel options in a harmonized way, including a sensitivity analysis of the parameters with the greatest impact on the total electrofuel production cost.

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