About the project
The potential of transportation fuels to contribute to the transition of the transport sector depends on their overall performance as a whole, i.e. considering carbon footprint and cost for production, infrastructure and vehicles. Studies show that for forest-based fuels, the production of single molecule transport fuels can be more efficient than production of so-called drop in fuels, considering use of raw materials and cost.
Single molecule transport fuels are characterized by small molecules of a single chemical such as methane, methanol, dimethyl ether and ethanol. Drop in transport fuels are biofuels consisting of mixtures with longer carbon chains, for example diesel and gasoline, and production demands more energy and is more costly. However, they are compatible with the existing infrastructure, whereas production of single molecule transport fuels require a dedicated distribution infrastructure. From a fuel producer perspective, it is therefore easier, cheaper and more efficient to produce single molecule transport fuels, but engine and vehicle producers, the preferred fuel is one that can be used directly in conventional combustion engines. Using drop in fuels does not claim the development of new technology, i.e. many different engine models.
Today, from a Swedish perspective, there is a lack of studies covering the total cost and climate performance of the whole transport fuel value chain for single molecule transport fuels compared to drop in fuels. This project aims at increasing the understanding of different forest-based transport fuel chains among fuel producers, engine and vehicle manufacturers, authorities, decision makers, researchers and other relevant stakeholders. It does so by a comparison focused on the two categories of biofuels, single molecule and “drop-in”, comparing the carbon footprint and total cost, including production, distribution and vehicles, for the two value chains. Results will potentially increase the knowledge of what role different fuels may play in a future energy system and thus provides a better decision support for policy makers.
Tomas Lönnqvist, IVL
Julia Hansson, IVL // Patrik Klintbom, Erik Furusjö och Johanna Mossberg, RISE
September 2019 - June 2021
Total project cost
1 732 500 SEK
The Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partners, E.on Biofor Sweden, Lantmännen Agroetanol, Scania CV AB, Södra, Volvo Personvagnar and Volvo Technology AB.
Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program
A reference group connected to the project consists of members from Lantmännen, Södra and E.on.