Using renewable biofuels and e-fuels is anticipated to be a key aspect of the world moving towards a more environmentally-friendly society by replacing fossil fuels that significantly harm the environment. At TRP Polymer, we’re moving with the times too and creating durable materials that are suitable for use with biofuels and synthetic fuels, such as synthetic ammonia. Continue reading this guide to find out what renewable fuels are, how they are made, and more.
With fossil fuels having a detrimental effect on the environment by contributing largely to global warming through carbon dioxide release, society is looking to move away from using these and instead converting to greener sources of energy to create a net-zero planet.
Renewable biofuels and e-fuels have become an increasingly popular source of energy that may fully replace fossil fuels in the future. Their ability to be reproduced and their significant reduction in carbon dioxide release means that they’re a sustainable solution that’s drastically less harmful to the environment than fossil fuels. There are currently two types of renewable fuel that are low emission. These are:
Biofuels are liquids that are produced from biomass, which is typically a short process. The two most common types of biofuel are ethanol (also known as bioethanol) and biodiesel.
Ethanol is typically produced by the fermentation of plant starches and sugars. Biodiesel is a liquid fuel produced from renewable sources such as oils and fats combined with alcohol. By using renewable materials in the process, the production of biofuels is much less harmful to the environment and has much more longevity than exclusively using nonrenewable fuels.
The process of producing biofuel consists of several steps:
Firstly, the structure of the plant cell wall must be broken down. This can occur at a high temperature (500°C to 700°C), or a low temperature; where low temperature enables the use of natural enzymes. This produces intermediates such as sugars, syngas and bio-oils.
Secondly, the sugars, syngas and bio-oils from the previous step must be turned into a finished product. This can involve biological processing using microorganisms, or chemically using a catalyst. These biofuels are commonly mixed with non-renewable fuels to lower emissions and carbon footprint to reduce the impact of solely using fossil fuels.
E-fuel, also known as synthetic fuel, is a carbon-neutral way of producing fuel. Chemically these e-fuels are the same as standard fuels at the pump. Some examples of e-fuels include synthetic ammonia, methane and kerosene. E-fuel is manufactured in 4 steps:
E-fuel is regarded as an important fuel for future use because the infrastructure for electric vehicles is not currently able to meet future demand, and there are currently many internal combustion engine vehicles still in operation which cannot simply be replaced.
However, synthetic fuels are yet to provide an ultimate solution, as it still produces harmful chemicals such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and the efficiency of processing and burning synthetic fuels is less than the efficiency of collecting and using electricity due to the additional manufacturing steps. For example, the efficiency of synthetic ammonia is currently only ranging from around 1% to 15%.
Synthetic fuels are chemically equivalent to standard fossil based fuels. However, in some applications, they are blended with up to 50% bio-ethanol.
Our materials at TRP have evidenced excellent compatibility with petrol, bioethanol and petrol bioethanol mixtures with many years of proven service history. With our materials, we can help your business to become more sustainable with our quality materials.
At TRP, our materials have had many years of successful use with current fossil-based fuels and fossil fuel and biofuel mixtures. We are constantly innovating to create materials ready for the widespread use of pure renewable biofuels.
Our material F171 is the most commonly used material and operates in a diverse range of fuel-based applications. We have performed volume swell testing for customers in custom fuel blends along with standard petrol and diesel. This material has a history of having a long mean time between repairs (MTBR).
We have also developed low-temperature materials (F207 and F220) with static sealing capability down to -55°C, and dynamic sealing capability of -40°C that are especially for use with fuels. This allows for the safe sealing and operation of valves, pumps and seals in arctic conditions or where customers wish to have one material that can be used worldwide in all temperatures.
Three of TRP’s materials that are broadly specified for use in fuels, and fossil fuels blended with biofuel, are:
See below test data for the above grades when used in fuel:
At TRP Polymer, we’re proud to be taking a step towards a greener future by creating products compatible with renewable biofuels and synthetic fuels. Our range of products is compatible with many different fuels and also extends into a diverse range of industry applications.