Decarbonisation Technology - November 2023 Issue

Decarbonisation of transport fuels to reduce emissions With transportation responsible for almost one-third of global CO 2 emissions, the priority is to be able to meet future demands while moving towards net zero

Yvon Bernard Axens

T ransport emits nearly 8 Gt of carbon actions are required to meet future demand while lowering the carbon intensity of transport fuels and chemicals. The use of renewable and alternative feedstocks (such as municipal waste, second-generation vegetable oil, and forestry residues) will play an increasing role in this transition. Axens is actively contributing to the energy transition in the industry and society by providing technologies for the production of gasoline and middle distillates (jet fuel and diesel) that meet the most stringent standards. The decarbonisation of transport fuels and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with the relevant Axens technologies, will be discussed in this article. Together, these form part of the solution along with a range of complementary measures (not all of which need technological solutions) for reducing emissions across different transport modes: • Avoid unnecessary journeys for the movement of people or goods. • Incorporate energy efficiency across the transport system value chain. Obvious examples dioxide (CO₂) each year, or 30% of global CO₂ emissions (IEA, 2023). Urgent are refinery processing efficiency, including carbon capture, and using energy efficiency indices for new ship design (maritime) and retrofitting existing ships. • Encourage more sustainable use of transport. In cities, this includes behavioural measures such as switching from cars to forms of transport with lower emissions, including electrified public transport and cycling (one of the most economical ways of commuting). • Government policies that drive and support the

transition, include mandates such as ReFuelEU, tax incentives such as the US IRA, project funding from research through to first projects, with the Horizon Europe funding a good example, and finally the permitting process to build out renewable capacity and sites for long-term carbon storage. In the following sections, various technologies will be presented using different inputs and producing different products, addressing the fuel market and other industries that also need to reduce their carbon footprint. Potential to reduce the carbon intensity of the transportation sector with biofuels  Sustainable/low-carbon road fuels Emissions from road transport were 5.87 Gt CO₂ in 2022 (IEA, 2023). Major economies, including Australia, China, the EU, India, the UK, and the US, have adopted policies that support the uptake of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the decarbonisation of transport. In Europe (EU and UK), mandates banning the sales of internal combustion engines (ICE) in passenger vehicles and vans will become effective from 2035. Even then, it will take another decade or more for the turnover of the light-duty fleet to BEVs. Progress in rural communities is likely to lag that in the bigger cities, where BEVs are also seen as part of the solution for air pollution. Given that in 2023, more than 80% of the existing fleet of cars and vans on the road are powered by internal combustion engines, substituting fossil fuels with renewable/low-carbon fuels is vital for rapid action to reduce emissions from road transport.  Sustainable aviation fuels Aviation transport emissions totalled 0.89 Gt


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