MAN Energy Solutions is to supply the methanol reactor for an eFuels pilot plant currently being built by HIF, an international e-fuels company based in Chile, with the participation of Porsche AG together with Siemens Energy and other project companies near the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. The “Haru Oni” pilot project takes advantage of the excellent wind conditions in southern Chile to generate synthetic, climate-neutral fuel − so-called eFuels − with the help of renewable power. By international standards, Chile offers ideal conditions for the production of green hydrogen and synthetic fuels made from it.
“Synthetic fuels are an important component on the road to a climate-neutral future. They have the potential to decarbonise all those sectors and processes where direct electrification is not possible or practical,” says Uwe Lauber, CEO at MAN Energy Solutions. “Back in 2013, MAN commissioned what is currently Europe’s largest methanation reactor for Audi in Werlte, which has since supplied 1,500 vehicles a year with climate-neutral, synthetic natural gas. We are pleased to contribute our chemical engineering expertise to this project as well.”
MAN Energy Solutions at its Deggendorf site has extensive expertise in the manufacture of reactor systems for the production of synthetic fuels as well as numerous references in the field of methanol synthesis.
eFuels production to start in 2022
In the first process step, electrolysers use wind power to split water molecules into their basic components, oxygen and hydrogen. The green hydrogen is then combined with CO2 filtered from the air in MAN Energy Solutions’ methanol reactor. The result: green methanol, which is then converted into climate-neutral gasoline in a further step. In the pilot phase, the large-scale plant is expected to produce around 130,000 litres of eFuels as early as 2022. In two steps, capacity will be increased to around 55 million litres of eFuels per year by 2024 and to around 550 million litres of eFuels per year by 2026.
Porsche plans to use the eFuels initially in Porsche Motorsport vehicles and in the Porsche Experience Centers. The sports car manufacturer is initially investing some EUR 20 million on the project.