Synthetic fuel project underway in Chile

By Jack Burke07 July 2021

Production to start in 2022

MAN Energy Solutions will supply the methanol reactor for a pilot project that will create synthetic, climate-neutral fuel in Chile.

The Haru Oni pilot project takes advantage of the excellent wind conditions near the city of Punta Arenas in southern Chile to generate synthetic, climate-neutral fuel − so-called eFuels − with the help of renewable power.

“Synthetic fuels are an important component on the road to a climate-neutral future. They have the potential to decarbonize all those sectors and processes where direct electrification is not possible or practical,” said Uwe Lauber, CEO at MAN Energy Solutions. “Back in 2013, MAN commissioned what is currently Europe’s largest methanation reactor for Audi in Werlte, which has since supplied 1500 vehicles a year with climate-neutral, synthetic natural gas. We are pleased to contribute our chemical engineering expertise to this project as well.”

MAN Energy Solutions at its Deggendorf site has extensive expertise in the manufacture of reactor systems for the production of synthetic fuels as well as numerous references in the field of methanol synthesis.

eFuels production to start in 2022

In the first process step, electrolyzers use wind power to split water molecules into their basic components, oxygen and hydrogen. The green hydrogen is then combined with CO2 filtered from the air in MAN Energy Solutions’ methanol reactor. The result: green methanol, which is then converted into climate-neutral gasoline in a further step. In the pilot phase, the large-scale plant is expected to produce around 130 000 L of eFuels as early as 2022. In two steps, capacity will be increased to around 55 million L of eFuels per year by 2024 and to around 550 million L of eFuels per year by 2026.

Porsche plans to use the eFuels initially in Porsche Motorsport vehicles and in the Porsche Experience Centers. The sports car manufacturer is initially investing some EUR 20 million on the project.

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