Sustainable Alternative Fuels 2021-2031: IDTechEx

By 2026, demand for sustainable aviation fuels could reach over 3.5 billion litres.

Sustainable Alternative Fuels 2021-2031

Biofuels, renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuels, e-fuels, green ammonia, technologies, players, markets


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Growth in global energy consumption has caused CO2 and GHG emissions to rise, in turn causing an increase in average global temperatures. The combustion of fossil fuels including coal, oil, and natural gas, has been a key driver behind this, providing the underlying driver for the production and use of non-fossil alternative fuels that can help reduce emissions and mitigate against climate change.
 
The electrical power and transportation sectors have been first to implement renewable technologies. For electricity generation, renewable power sources such as wind and solar PV are the fastest growing energy source for many regions worldwide, reducing the carbon intensity of electricity production. In on-road transportation, the 2020s are forecast to be the decade where battery electric cars and other personal transport modes become cheaper, on both a lifetime- and upfront-cost basis, than their internal combustion engine counterparts. This will lead to widespread battery electric vehicle adoption. However, combined, electricity and on-road transportation account for less than 50% of global energy consumption and CO2 -e emissions. Sectors including heavy industry, heating, aviation, and shipping are far more difficult to decarbonise. Here, direct electrification or use of battery technology is unlikely to provide a solution.
 
Liquid and gaseous fuels will therefore be necessary in these sectors. Renewable diesel or HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) for example is set for a decade of growth. Production of renewable diesel differs from conventional biodiesel, allowing it to be used as a drop-in fuel, where biodiesel will have to be blended. Further, if waste feedstocks are used, such as used cooking oil or animal fats, renewable diesel can offer significant CO2 emissions reductions and be classified as a 2nd generation or advanced biofuel. Growth in the fuel is driven by the US and Europe and emissions targets set in these regions with the report providing data on players and productions volumes and a capacity forecast (MMGY) through to 2031. This despite the backdrop of vehicle electrification.
 
While transport electrification will erode demand for alternative fuels in road transport, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are likely to be necessary for the aviation industry to reduce emissions. Despite Covid-19 significantly reducing demand for air travel, there were several announcements, including purchase agreements, made in 2020 that highlighted greater emphasis on the decarbonisation of aviation through use of SAFs. As of the end of 2020, there were 7 SAF production processes certified by the International Air Transport Association, which can be blended with conventional jet-fuel at various percentages. The most prominent SAF is based on hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids, produced in a process similar to renewable diesel. IDTechEx estimate that demand for SAF in 2020 accounted for <0.1% of total jet-fuel demand and despite significant growth expected from the market, demand in 2026 is forecast to still account for <1%.
 
While SAF production is currently bio-based, electro-fuels (e-fuels) could play an important role in the future for the aviation sector, in addition to providing a route to producing other drop-in fuels and feedstocks, including methane, methanol, and syngas. E-fuels make use of electrolytic hydrogen and atmospheric carbon, whether captured directly from the air or from an industrial point source. As such, they negate some of the concerns with biofuels, such as feedstock availability, land use changes or potential competition with food cultivation. However, the e-fuel market is at a much earlier stage of development and electrolyser technology, a central part of e-fuel production, is likely to need further improvement and demonstration at scale to fully realise the potential of e-fuels. Cheap electrical power will also be a pre-requisite for economical production of e-fuels. The report covers the various routes that can be taken to produce e-fuels, and details the companies involved and seeking to commercialise and expand their e-fuel technologies and production capacity.
 
Green ammonia (e-ammonia), produced from electrolytic hydrogen and nitrogen from the air, has been touted as being a promising hydrogen carrier for the hydrogen economy, due its higher temperature at which it liquefies, making it more energy dense than hydrogen, and easier to store and transport. The maritime industry in particular could be well placed to utilise ammonia as a fuel and while there is seemingly interest in it, use of ammonia as a fuel in maritime is currently limited to a very small number of projects. Projects are also underway to test the feasibility of green ammonia as a form of energy storage, with ammonia produced at times of low electricity cost (or high renewable output), stored, and power generated at times of high electricity demand. Direct use of ammonia, in a gas turbine, engine or potentially fuel cell, will have to be carefully controlled and monitored to ensure low levels of NOx emissions. While use of ammonia as a fuel or energy vector is still at the early stages of commercialisation, production of green ammonia will be important in its own right, with the chemical being used globally as a fertilizer and current production generally reliant on the use of natural gas as a feedstock.
 
An alternative to ammonia for shipping could be biogas or bio-LNG (liquefied natural gas), which could also play a key role in stabilising electricity grids with high levels of renewables and in decarbonising heat demand. Biogas could benefit from the fact that hundreds of tankers already make use of LNG, such that biogas presents the possibility for a smoother transition to carbon-neutrality, where ammonia would require new ships and retrofits.
 
IDTechEx's report on non-fossil alternative fuels covers a wide scope of fuels, processes and sectors, and aims to provide insight on the state of the market for alternative fuels, how they fit in to a low-carbon economy, the key players and developments. The report includes an introduction to biofuels with further detailed sections on renewable diesel, advanced biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, electro-fuels (e-fuels), and e-ammonia, providing data, trends, analysis and discussion on technology development, production volumes, company announcements, and targeted applications and sectors.
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Table of Contents
1.EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1.Alternative fuel scope
1.2.Energy consumption by sector
1.3.Routes to decarbonisation
1.4.Biofuel generations
1.5.Biofuel incentives
1.6.US Renewable identification numbers
1.7.Challenges for biofuel
1.8.Renewable diesel capacity distribution
1.9.Future renewable diesel capacity distribution
1.10.Renewable diesel market regional growth
1.11.Renewable diesel forecast
1.12.Advanced biofuels technology overview
1.13.Biofuel technology overview
1.14.Fast pyrolysis and gasification-FT project examples
1.15.Introduction to biojet and sustainable aviation fuel
1.16.Bio-jet/SAF process pathways
1.17.Announcements during 2020
1.18.Sustainable aviation fuel incentives
1.19.SAF demand forecast, billion litres
1.20.SAF demand forecast, billion $
1.21.Concluding remarks on SAF
1.22.Green ammonia development stage
1.23.Green ammonia project volumes
1.24.Ammonia shipping project list
1.25.e-fuel production pathway overview
1.26.e-fuels
1.27.Routes to e-fuel production
1.28.e-fuel players
1.29.e-fuel capacity announcements
1.30.Applications for e-fuels
1.31.Comparing low-carbon solutions
1.32.Non-fossil alternative fuel development stages
1.33.Comparing alternative fuels
1.34.Comparing alternative fuels - SWOT
1.35.Biofuel supply chain
1.36.E-fuel supply chain
1.37.Low carbon sustainability trade-offs
2.INTRODUCTION
2.1.Global emissions driving temperature increase
2.2.Energy consumption by sector
2.3.Energy consumption in transportation
2.4.Transport emissions
2.5.Energy consumption in industry
2.6.Industrial energy requirements
2.7.Residential energy consumption
2.8.Residential heating demand - UK example
2.9.Routes to decarbonisation
2.10.Green credentials of decarbonisation options
3.OVERVIEW OF BIOFUELS
3.1.1.Role of biofuels
3.1.2.Biofuel cycle
3.1.3.Biofuel generations
3.1.4.Defining advanced and renewable fuels
3.1.5.Biofuel incentives
3.1.6.US Renewable identification numbers
3.1.7.US RIN prices 2020
3.1.8.Drivers of US growth in renewable diesel
3.1.9.EU biofuel targets
3.1.10.EU biofuel sustainability
3.1.11.Challenges for biofuel
3.1.12.Current state of biofuels - USA
3.1.13.Current state of biofuels - Europe
3.1.14.Current state of biofuels - Brazil
3.1.15.Current state of biofuels - China, Indonesia
3.1.16.Opportunity and threat for on-road transport
3.1.17.1st generation bioethanol
3.1.18.Conventional biodiesel
3.2.Advanced biofuels
3.2.1.2nd generation biofuel production processes
3.2.2.Biofuel production process developments
3.2.3.Biofuel technology overview
3.2.4.Gasification-FT project examples
3.2.5.Fast pyrolysis and hydrothermal gasification project examples
3.2.6.Gasification to Fischer-Tropsch projects
3.2.7.Redrock Biofuels
3.2.8.Velocys
3.2.9.Fulcrum Bioenergy
3.2.10.Silva Green Fuel
3.2.11.Bio2Oil
3.2.12.Gevo
3.2.13.Introduction to biogas
3.2.14.Algae based biofuels
3.3.Renewable diesel market
3.3.1.Renewable diesel introduction
3.3.2.Biodiesel and bio-jet fuel
3.3.3.Bio- and renewable diesel production
3.3.4.Renewable diesel production
3.3.5.Renewable diesel market expansion
3.3.6.Renewable diesel market regional growth
3.3.7.Renewable diesel market regional shares
3.3.8.Renewable diesel market expansion - hydroprocessing
3.3.9.Renewable diesel capacity distribution
3.3.10.Future renewable diesel capacity distribution
3.3.11.Eni SpA - Honeywell
3.3.12.Neste
3.3.13.Neste case study
3.3.14.Renewable diesel forecast
3.3.15.Renewable diesel forecast - UCO availability
3.3.16.Opportunity for renewable diesel
3.4.Sustainable aviation fuels market
3.5.Energy consumption in aviation
3.6.Bio-jet and sustainable aviation fuels
3.7.Biofuels key to aviation decarbonisation
3.8.Aviation fuel demand
3.9.Impact of covid-19
3.10.Announcements during 2020
3.11.CO2 reduction measures
3.12.CORSIA
3.13.SAF certification process
3.14.Introduction to biojet and sustainable aviation fuel
3.15.Jet fuel composition
3.16.Biodiesel and bio-jet fuel
3.17.Overview of bio-jet fuel production pathways
3.18.Overview of bio-jet fuel feedstocks and production
3.19.bio-jet/SAF process pathways
3.20.SAF from P2X
3.21.Sustainable aviation fuel incentives
3.22.Commercial initiatives
3.23.Covid-19 vs Green Recovery
3.24.SAF market
3.25.Sustainable aviation fuel offtake agreements
3.26.Production capacity by process pathway
3.27.SAF production growth by process
3.28.Price
3.29.SAF production cost
3.30.Concluding remarks on SAF
3.31.Jet fuel demand extrapolation and capacity
3.32.SAF demand forecast, billion litres
3.33.SAF demand forecast- billion $
4.ELECTRO-FUELS (E-FUELS)
4.1.Introduction to e-fuels
4.2.Point source CO2 capture
4.3.What is Direct Air Capture (DAC)?
4.4.Methods of DAC
4.5.Challenges associated with DAC technology
4.6.Electro-fuel production technology
4.7.e-fuel production pathway overview
4.8.Types of e-fuel
4.9.Routes to e-fuel production
4.10.e-fuel production technologies
4.11.Routes to e-fuel production
4.12.Introduction to fuel cells
4.13.Fuel cell and electrolyser overview
4.14.Electrolysis for power-to-X
4.15.Electrolyser basics
4.16.Electrolyser overview
4.17.Introduction to solid oxide electrolysers
4.18.Materials for solid-oxide electrolysers and fuel cells
4.19.Interest in SOECs
4.20.SOEC syngas production
4.21.Sunfire Fuel Cells Gmbh Power-to-liquid
4.22.Flexible SOEC operation?
4.23.Haldor Topsoe
4.24.Electrolyser degradation
4.25.Solid oxide electrolyser cell players
4.26.Room-temperature electrochemical CO2 reduction
4.27.Electrochemical CO2 reduction products
4.28.E-fuel players and market overview
4.29.Nordic Blue Crude
4.30.Synhelion solar fuel
4.31.Prometheus fuels
4.32.Prometheus fuels process
4.33.Carbon Engineering
4.34.Carbon Recycling International
4.35.Opus 12
4.36.Opus 12 technology
4.37.Caphenia
4.38.Lectrolyst
4.39.Copernicus P2X and MefCO2 projects
4.40.Siemens - Evonik P2X pilot
4.41.Audi synthetic fuel
4.42.SAF from P2X
4.43.e-fuel players
4.44.e-fuel capacity announcements
4.45.Electrolyser/fuel cell manufacturers
4.46.Applications for e-fuels
4.47.e-fuel applications remarks
4.48.Evaluating the role of e-fuels
5.GREEN AMMONIA
5.1.Introduction to hydrogen and ammonia
5.2.Ammonia production
5.3.Reverse ammonia fuel cell
5.4.Hydrogen or ammonia economy
5.5.Green ammonia
5.6.Efficiency of using ammonia
5.7.Ammonia as energy storage
5.8.Ammonia as a combustion fuel
5.9.Ammonia fuelled gas turbine
5.10.Co-firing ammonia in Japan
5.11.Ammonia for fuel cells
5.12.Direct ammonia fuel cells
5.13.Ammonia projects and outlook
5.14.FREA ammonia demonstration plant
5.15.Siemens' green ammonia demonstrator
5.16.ThyssenKrupp/H2U green ammonia demonstrator
5.17.Nel alkaline electrolyser cost reduction
5.18.Green ammonia nitrate
5.19.Green ammonia project volumes
5.20.Green ammonia projects
5.21.Large-scale green ammonia production
5.22.Green ammonia development stage
5.23.Evaluating the role of ammonia
5.24.Evaluating ammonia
5.25.Alternative fuel comparisons
6.GREEN AMMONIA FOR SHIPPING
6.1.Role of alternative fuels in transport
6.2.Zero emission shipping
6.3.Why green ammonia for maritime?
6.4.Ammonia in the news
6.5.Shipping emissions: the problem
6.6.Introduction to marine emissions regulation
6.7.SOx reductions more important than NOx
6.8.CO2 target for shipping
6.9.CO2 in shipping forecast
6.10.Timeline of regulatory developments
6.11.Maritime electrification
6.12.Why batteries can help
6.13.Fuel cost savings and ROI
6.14.Roadblocks to maritime electrification
6.15.Equinor-Eidesvik Offshore ammonia fuel cell vessel
6.16.Ammonia for shipping
6.17.MAN Energy Solutions 2-stroke engine
6.18.IHI corporation - LNG fuelled tugboat
6.19.Ammonia shipping project list
6.20.LNG in shipping
6.21.Environmental benefit of LNG
6.22.Hydrogen, ammonia or bio-LNG
6.23.Ammonia or bio-LNG for shipping
7.CONSIDERING SUSTAINABILITY
7.1.Underlying Drivers for Electric Vehicles
7.2.Sustainability of biofuels
7.3.Emissions from land use change
7.4.Fuel carbon intensity comparison per MJ
7.5.Fuel carbon intensity comparisons per km
7.6.Land use emissions from biofuel generations
7.7.Biofuel carbon emissions
7.8.Carbon emissions from electric vehicles
7.9.Sustainability of Li-ion materials
7.10.Low carbon sustainability trade-offs
7.11.Comparing low-carbon solutions
 

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