Economic Comparison of Electric Fuels Produced at Excellent Locations for Renewable Energies: A Scenario for 2035
35 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 10, 2020
The use of electric fuels (e-fuels) enables CO2-neutral mobility and opens therefore an alternative to fossil-fuel-fired engines or battery-powered electric motors. This paper compares the cost-effectiveness of Fischer-Tropsch diesel, methanol, and hydrogen stored as cryogenic liquid (LH2) or in form of liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs). The production cost of those fuels are to a large extent driven by the energy-intensive electrolytic water splitting. The option of producing e-fuels in Germany competes with international locations with excellent conditions for renewable energy harvesting and thus very low levelized cost of electricity. We developed a mathematical model that covers the entire process chain. Starting with the production of the required resources such as fresh water, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, electrical and thermal energy, the subsequent chemical synthesis, the transport to filling stations in Germany and finally the energetic utilization of the fuels in the vehicle. We found that the choice of production site can have a major impact on the mobility cost using the respective fuels. Especially in case of diesel production, the levelized cost of electricity driven by the full load hours of the applied renewable energy source have a huge impact. An LOHC-based system is shown to be less dependent on the kind of electricity source compared to other technologies due to its comparatively low electricity consumption and the low cost for the hydrogenation units. The length of the transportation route and the price of the filling station infrastructure, on the other hand, clearly increase mobility cost for LOHC and LH2.
Keywords: Electric Fuels, Hydrogen Utilization, Hydrogen Import, LOHC, Mobility
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