CAPHENIA process is superior to the conventional e-fuel process

A study conducted by the independent Research Institute for the Energy Sector (FfE) shows that in a direct comparison, the CAPHENIA process performs better than the power-to-liquid process: The carbon footprint is significantly lower.

As part of a recent study, the Research Institute for the Energy Sector (FfE), based in Munich, has compared values measured during the course of the CAPHENIA process with values from the conventional production process of power to liquids. The findings are clear-cut: When both processes are used to produce 1 kilogram of kerosene, on average 1.86 units of CO2 arise during the CAPHENIA process. When producing power to liquids, i.e. conventional e-fuels, the average amount of carbon dioxide emitted per kilogram of kerosene produced is 8.96 units.

How can this be? In the CAPHENIA process, methane is broken down into carbon and hydrogen and then processed into synthesis gas (read more about CAPHENIA’s technology here).

The CAPHENIA process will continue to have an advantage over the power-to-liquid process in the near future.

Power-to-liquid fuels, on the other hand, are obtained by means of electrolysis, in which water is broken down into hydrogen and oxygen. Carbon dioxide is added to the hydrogen obtained in this way before synthesis gas is finally produced as the basis for fuels. This process requires a great deal of electricity, which should ideally come from renewable energy sources.

And this is precisely where the problem lies:

In the foreseeable future, such a large amount of green electricity will not be available. For this reason, the scientists at the FfE based their study on the current European energy mix. 

On this basis, the CAPHENIA process has a definite advantage – and according to the FfE’s scientists, this will remain the case for the foreseeable future: 

“To sum up, we can state that with an emission factor for the European energy mix of currently around 0.44 kg CO2e per kWh of electricity, [...] the CAPHENIA process will continue to enjoy an advantage over the power-to-liquid process in the near future.” 

Only when the emission factor of the energy mix is around 0.12 kg CO2e per kWh – a figure that currently describes an energy mix founded purely on electricity generated by photovoltaic arrays – do both processes have the same carbon footprint. It should be noted that this applies to the use of fossil-based natural gas in the CAPHENIA process, but not to biogas.