The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS and its Clubsport variant caused quite a stir at the recent 2022 GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria, not only with their spectacular drives on ice and snow but also with their fuel. They put on a show sipping synthetic fuel—also known as carbon-neutral fuel or eFuel.
The fuel had previously demonstrated its suitability for use in high-performance Porsche engines in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, where it was used in all the teams’ 911 GT3 Cup cars for every race of the 2021 season.
Even the electricity needed to produce eFuels are sustainably sourced, from the wind. Here’s a quick and dirty explanation of how eFuel is made: water is broken down into its components, hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2), via electrolysis. The hydrogen is then processed with CO₂ extracted from the air to produce e-methanol. In the next step, known as methanol-to-gasoline synthesis, it is turned into a synthetic raw gasoline, which in turn is processed into a standard-compliant gasoline fuel that can be used in all gasoline engines.
“We urgently need a solution for the sustainable operation of existing fleets. This goal can be achieved with green fuels, which are a sensible complement to electric vehicles,” said rally legend Walter Röhrl.
The Haru Oni project in Chile, a collaboration of Porsche, Siemens Energy and other international partners, is expected to commence operations in mid-2022. The pilot plant is expected to produce ~130,000 litres of eFuel per year. Porsche intends to initially use this fuel for motorsport activities.