Even as the world slowly turns to electric power for cars, the search for other methods of reducing the carbon footprint continues and Volkswagen is now approving paraffinic fuels for use in the latest-generation 4-cylinder diesel engines.
These newly developed diesel fuels containing bio-components permit significant CO2 savings of 70%-95% compared with conventional diesel.
All Volkswagen models with 4-cylinder diesel engines (TDI) delivered since the end of June this year are approved for operation with paraffinic diesel fuels in accordance with European standard EN 15940.
Professor Thomas Garbe, Head of Petrol and Diesel Fuels at Volkswagen, explains: “Through the use of environmentally friendly fuels in the approved Volkswagen models, we are making it possible for customers throughout Europe to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions as soon as the fuel is locally available. For example, the use of paraffinic fuels is a sensible additional option particularly for companies with a mixed fleet made up of models with electric and conventional drives.”
There is a wide range of different paraffinic fuels.
There are fuels that are produced from biological residual and waste materials such as HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), for example. These vegetable oils are converted into hydrocarbons by a reaction with hydrogen and can be added to the diesel fuel in any quantities. They can also be used 100% as fuels, however.
Vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil can also be used for production of HVO, but the maximum environmental benefit is obtained only through use of biological residual and waste materials such as used cooking oil, sawdust, etc.
Biofuels such as HVO are already available on the market, and it is likely their share could increase to 20% to 30% in the energy market for road transport in Europe within the next 10 years.
In addition, there will also be so-called e-fuels such as PtL (Power-to-Liquid) in future. These are produced from regenerative sources using CO2 and electricity.
XtL or X-to- Liquid, GtL, and PtL make use of the possibility of initially producing a synthesis gas from different raw materials and then converting this to standard-compliant diesel fuel by means of the Fischer-Tropsch process. Excess green energy can be used here in the production process.
Volkswagen’s electric mobility offensive is being significantly speeded up once more as part of its ACCELERATE strategy. By 2030, it is planned to increase the share of all-electric cars sold in Europe to more than 70%.
Parallel to this, the combustion engine fleet will be systematically further developed in order to reduce CO2 emissions and increase efficiency. The company wants to be completely climate-neutral by 2050.
On the ‘Way to Zero’, Volkswagen’s goal for 2030 is to reduce emissions per vehicle in Europe by 40% compared with 2018 – which means each Volkswagen vehicle will then emit 17 tonnes less CO2 on average throughout its life-cycle.