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Neste and partner companies conclude E-Fuel research project; progress in the development of electrofuels

Low-emission e-fuels produced using renewable hydrogen produced by green electricity and carbon capture and utilization (CCU) are suitable for segments that are difficult to electrify, such as aviation and marine. A joint E-Fuel research project demonstrating high temperature electrolysis (SOEC), carbon capture, and hydrocarbon synthesis technologies (earlier post) has now come to its successful end. During the three-year project, the development of synthetic e-fuels towards commercial scale production was accelerated.

The E-fuel research project that has been funded by Business Finland and consortium partners and coordinated by VTT is part of the Neste Veturi ecosystem. The project consortium of 15 partners covered all parties in the value chain from CO2 capture to green hydrogen and fuel production, logistics, as well as users of the transportation fuels in aviation and road and marine transport.

The project successfully generated hundreds of kilograms of synthetic hydrocarbons intended for the production of novel sustainable transportation fuel. The hydrocarbons were refined by Neste mainly into carbon neutral synthetic e-diesel, which was tested on a diesel-powered tractor in late 2023.

During the project, technologies of the consortium companies were developed further, and the produced diesel burned more cleanly than fossil and renewable diesels in the current market. E-fuels can be considered carbon-neutral, as they are produced using captured CO2 emissions and renewable hydrogen, effectively offsetting the carbon dioxide released during combustion in an engine.

I’m happy about the very successful results of the project. VTT together with industrial partners developed further technologies for green hydrogen production, CO2 capture and e-fuels synthesis and finally we successfully demonstrated the integration of these process parts and the production of e-fuels. Furthermore, we were able to demonstrate the high quality of the produced paraffinic e-fuel with low emissions in the field test. We also gathered and developed valuable information on the profitability and sustainability of e-fuels production.

—VTT Research Professor Juha Lehtonen, leader of the project

Neste Veturi R&D program develops sustainable fuels and chemicals from renewable and recycled raw materials that have been difficult to utilize so far. The raw materials and their related conversion technologies in focus are lignocellulosic residues, micro algae, novel vegetable oils, plastic waste, municipal solid waste, renewable hydrogen and CO2. The programme is co-funded by Business Finland.



I suppose that we should be quite amazed that the whole energy sector; transportation, heating, industrial, to name a few; is accelerating rapidly forward in its attempt to over-turn the fossil-fuel world, from rich to developing. Astounding, frankly, how much has occurred over the last few decades.

Though, we seem to be wallowing in a quagmire of indecision, unclear regional direction, industry paralysis, political chaos, consumer indifference or confusion, etc., etc. What's causing such a lack of consensus? lack of technological/ commercial maturity in the leading energy forms? poor understanding of the economics and scaling-up of the various systems? lack of will/interest from suppliers and customers? conflict and confusion from various regions, countries?

I, for one, have a very defined world view of what the priorities should be in terms of personal choice, economics, growth, environment, and politics, which would necessarily guide us to transitioning to the proper energy sources for all sectors, likely to take decades... but that's one opinion. Very few seem to have made us aware of what the 'big picture' should be: how much battery, how much decentralized energy, how much non-fossil combustion, what should heat or home/ business (if one lives in such an area), etc., etc.\

I foresee continued chaos, indecision, poor R&D allotment, poor government regulation, to continue for at least a few more decades... It seems like the US, China, Canada, etc., who have all types of energy, industry, and consumer, may need to lead the world with some kind of directed vision...


There are some that think “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” or SAF is hype. Only 100% Hydrogen is the best solution (which would require Liquid H2 in Composite tanks).
I have been looking at Hydrogen for over 50 years and it always looks like in 10 or 25 years a breakthrough will solve all of our environmental issues.

SAF works today, it only needs as @Jer points more emphasis in R&D and government support. Finland and Neste already lead the world in SAF.
To make SAF, Direct Air Capture of CO2 is not needed, however, low cost “Green” or Blue Hydrogen is required.

On November 28, 2023 Virgin Atlantic flew a Boeing 787 from London to New York on 100% SAF. So it works. The only real issue is today develop a plan to address the cost of SAF vs standard jet fuel.




Any debate about hydrogen is irrelevant for long distance air travel, where most of the C02 emissions for air travel happen, and where hydrogen is nowhere remotely near able to help.

It is about whether SAF can reduce emissions enough to make the industry's plans to expand long distance air travel in any way reasonable.

I have no doubt that SAF works.

The point is whether it can be scaled at any reasonable cost to allow the projected increase in long range aircraft travel without very large increases in CO2 emissions.

I have to date seen absolutely nothing even from its advocates showing, or even claiming, that that can be done

Sure, it can get as many folk who want to get there to the Maldives in future.

Unfortunately those islands may be underwater due to the increased temperatures consequent on the CO2 emissions, so they had better be built with floats.

' The only real issue is today develop a plan to address the cost of SAF vs standard jet fuel.'

!!! Yep, and I have seen zero on how that is to happen.

The industry is hoping to drive a horse and cart through through emissions.

Aviation fuel is not even taxed equivalently to land based systems, nor is there some imperative to massively increase long distance flights.

With zero plans to effectively reduce C02 emissions from them, and I certainly do NOT think that hydrogen technologies will be in any way substantially relevant to reduction of emissions in long distance flights for the foreseeable or projectable future, SAF is a cover story.

How the heck can SAF be produced at a low enough cost to allow the projected increase in long distance travel without a large increase in CO2 emissions, let alone a reduction?

I've seen zilch to date.



It would be interesting to see the 'growth'projections for long distance air travel if SAF were used at its full rate, without subsidy, let alone using carbon neutral supplies.

So far as I can see, from what has been a brief recent look at it, as I was both shocked and surprised at what seems to me to be a total blague, the projections are wholly reliant on their not internalising any of the costs of carbon emissions.


@ Jer:
My personal opinion is that the broad population is thoroughly captivated in the claws of a few dominating industries. Undesirable dependencies are always opportune for a few at the expense of the broad public.
Energy is the "blood" of every modern society and is effectively controlled and usurped by a small number of "top managers".
When I retired in 2004, I finally had time to satisfy my own personal interests. In the first instance I got rid of the oil furnace with which our home was heated and replaced it with a heat pump. The complete heating system was designed and installed from myself.
After a few weeks rest I designed and installed a PV-system on the roof facing south.
With a peak power output of 15kW (16 - 18 kwWh p. a.) the system produces far more power than we need ourselves; the surplus is fed into the grid. Five Years later I installed a wall-box in the Garage and bought a BEV.
No more oil for heating or oil changes in the car; but most of all I severed those dependencies from the oil industry and from the power utilities. It is indeed a certain liberty that I sincerely enjoy.
Presently, I'm waiting for the appearance of truly reliable and cheap batteries to finalize my surplus power storage problems and secure my independencies.
Additionally I'm proud to have made a considerable contribution to our environment.
Another contribution that I made to the environment is a consequent reduction of wasting energy; something that everyone else could do as well. BTW I'm on my third BEV and proud to say, no corrective maintenance in all those years.


Hi yoatman.

Here in Bristol, UK I installed an air source heat pump in my last flat instead of the previous horrible night storage heaters, which are too hot when you want it to be cool and vice versa, as I have a lung condition and being too hot or cold really does not work.

Installation costs were moderate, and it provided both heating, and also cooling, for aroud the same costs per year as a combination gas boiler would have done for heating alone.

Of course that did not provide hot water, and the climate here is mild, with few days below zero, but it was a cost effective option even at that stage of the technology, ten years or so ago.

Moving on, to help provide hot water as well as heating and cooling in a residential setting, I very much like this setup Rosie Barnes explained here:

This uses air, as opposed to water, cooling for solar panels, with the extracted heat going to provide much of the hot water in most climates, as well as increasing the efficiency of the solar panels.

Way simpler than water cooling. Unfortunately it will be introduced first for larger commercial uses, but it can clearly help in energy efficiency terms.


Hi Dave,
I'd assume that two relatively recent introductions to solar power generation could be the AGILE concentrator and TEG's. Multilayered cells comprised of e.g. Silicon and Perovskite and combined with the a. m. concentrator and TEG's would produce unparalleled efficiency at affordable cost.
However, I would not venture to say when such an innovation could appear on the worldwide market.
My decision for the heat source of my heat pump was the underground. In my estimation, the surrounding air temperature was too fluctuating and unreliable, especially during Winter, as a constant source of energy. Even though my decision was more expensive, I have not regretted it to this day. Two bores at 100mtrs each, each containing two plastic pipes - one for fore flow the other for return flow- and connected in parallel of both bores which are filled with a water-glycol mixture. This mixture is freeze-safe down to -25° C. In this manner I can achieve a great temperature difference and subsequently high efficiency. Since the system went into operation in 2004, I encountered two incidents of corrective maintenance. A replacement of a circulation pump (hot side) and a thermostat.



Renewable installations need tailoring to the place. They are fundamentally more location and climate specific than, say, building fossil fuel or nuclear.

I had a flat, where the normal (for the UK) gas boiler installation was not allowed, in case you blow the neighbors up.

Ground source is a good solution where both the land and capital is available, but that is not the case everywhere,

Also in Switzerland at least the high density of ground source installations is of concern, as you can't bung too many into too small a space or it alters the conditions too much.
Fortunately improving technology such as that you reference are making other solutions more practicable.

I lean towards solutions which use the thermal heat as well as the electrical input for great combined efficiency, hence my enthusiasm for the thermal solar Rosie talks about in the links.

I know we will differ on the subject, but I am also keen on home fuel cells, of which there are hudreds of thousands installed in Japan, which offer over 90% electrical plus thermal efficiency, and combine well with, for instance, solar panels.

There are more than one ways to skin a cat, should one undertake such an inhumane proceedure! ;-)

It's good that we have at least some of our hoped for improvements in common, and well done for your personal installation.



I dunno if you read French, but I wonder what you think of this system, as you have installed one yourself:

As an ex-builder the idiocy of the general public should never be underestimated, for instance here in Bristol one decided to save time installing a damp course by taking out the whole row of bricks, instead of 3 or 4 in a section.
Killed him.

So it seems likely that some would not bother establishing either that the angle of solar incidence is acceptable, or more importantly the roof strong enough.

But the principle of a basically plug and play installation, if they have managed that objective, is not to be underated, and hopefully should reduce costs, enable part gradual installation, and so on.

Since I have not put in a solar array myself, I would be interested in your take on what they have to offer.

It is easy to miss stuff if you have not actually done similar work.


Here is a video of the Sunethic installation on a tile roof:


I'm well versed in German and just a little bit in Spanish but my French is next to none.
Prior to retirement, I spent many business trips in the middle east. During my active time I was confronted with numerous PV-solutions for powering RTU's and other equipment to ensure production and transportation of Gas and Oil of respective pipelines. Not every pipeline is within the vicinity of the grid but still needs adequate supply of electric power. The experience that I gained there in many years was very useful to me for my private interests.



The video I linked is pretty self explanatory.
Does the installation look much simpler than a conventional one?

Not having installed a solar array, I have nothing to compare it to.


Had a closer look at the installation recommendation and as far as I could discern, the Aluminum hooks, rails and attaching parts appear to be quite conventional. However, there most certainly remains additional rework on the tiles depending to what format the tiles are made.



It sounds as though the purported greater ease of installation is mostly hype.

There are about to be loads of installation of solar of one sort or another going in in France now, as in spite of having far better solar resources than Germany has way less installations as they have a heavy emphasis on nuclear, which though is now coming back on line in quantity after recent hassles.

Recent builds of their full scale nuclear in France are having cost and time over-run problems.

Whether modular SMRs can alter that remains to be seen.

Off shore wind in many locations in France needs floating wind turbines, but solar has massive potential, with agrivoltaics in particular offering shade and better water retention as well as energy.

With a comparatively low population density compared to much of Europe, in rural areas geothermal also has potential in France, although not in their densely populated compact cities, by and large.


During 2023 approx. 50% of french NPPs were out of operation. From those out of operation, half of them were shut down for pending corrective maintenance whilst the other half lacked cooling water due to dried-up rivers.
The changing climate does not bode well for typical NPPs. In the light of this situation, Macron's insistence on seeking to build ever more NPPs can not really be understood.


I've been an advocate of nuclear power for 60 years and more, which IMO was demonstrably a better option than the massive mortality from coal mining and the the consequent global warming, which we somehow ended up with due not only to the fossil fuel lobby but the environmentalists ludicrous refusal to consider compararative risks.

But with costs as they are I cannot understand now building more conventional reactors, as the costs and time scales are clearly out of line, in part due to crazy regulation in the West.

China and countries they build for are a very different matter though, and conventional reactors are very competitive there.

Different designs of reactors have very different water demand requirements, basically guzzlers were built where it did not seem that water constraints were likely to be important, which in retrospect was a mistake.

The HT PBR modular factory built reactors China now has in operation are a very different matter, are likely to be cheaper yet and intended not only for energy but for process heat, especially where water shortages and land constraints are important, in China and in places like Indonesia.

So I think we will probably have a fair amount of nuclear, just not built by Western countries.

From an energy diversity POV, that is a good thing, as things like major volcanic eruptions can drastically reduce solar energy for several years.

One of the most dangerous forms of energy is residential solar, as people clamber on their roofs in unsafe manners to clear show etc.

When someone says something is dangerous, I always ask: 'Compared to what?'

That does not mean that I am against rooftop solar, just that the intuitive answer is not always correct.

So IMO opinion the build by France and the UK of present design large reactors is a poor option, with renewables far cheaper, and other designs of modular reactors likely to be a better and more economic option.

I am still favourably disposed to nuclear, but not at any price.

I realise we probably differ on the matter, but we are in agreement that Macron has probably chosen the wrong option.



Article here about the disguised links between civil nuclear and the military in the UK here:

Its overt in France, China and the US.

I was pro nuclear when it was the only realistic way of decarbonising and halting the horrendous death toll from mining and pollution from the fossil fuel industry.

The case is very different now, with the low cost of renewables .

Save perhaps for in low cost China, and possible modular factory built reactors, there is no economic case for nuclear.

When the facts change, and the options, so do my opinions.

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