IGTL synthetic gasoline demonstration
EMEC supported IGTL Technology Limited in demonstrating the creation of synthetic hydrocarbon gasoline for use in the aviation sector on behalf of the Royal Air Force.
This demonstration was a verification of the IGTL technology for creating synthetic gasoline (hydrocarbon) by combining carbon with hydrogen to form a liquid fuel.
A synthetic gasoline demonstration plant was installed on a temporary basis onshore at EMEC’s Billia Croo wave test site. The plant used hydrogen produced from water by electrolysis as feedstock supplied by EMEC.
The synthetic fuel created at EMEC’s site was then used by the Royal Air Force, to enable the demonstration of what is claimed to be world’s first flight to be powered entirely by synthetic aviation fuel, securing the Guinness World Records® title of First Aircraft Powered by Synthetic Fuel.
Currently, hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline are sourced from fossils, the burning of which releases new fossil carbon into atmosphere.
When created sustainably, synthetic liquid hydrocarbon fuel presents a solution for the aviation sector to reduce its carbon footprint, particularly on long-haul flights. At present there are no alternatives to hydrocarbons for achieving the energy density needed to enable long-haul flights.
Looking to the future, IGTL Technology plan to scale this process to enable the production of carbon neutral fuels. Reutilising carbon extracted from the atmosphere and combining it with hydrogen generated by renewable power will allow the creation of a synthetic hydrocarbon fuel which can be used in the same way as fossil fuels without the need for modifications, new systems or infrastructure, thus enabling users to avoid increasing global CO2 levels.
IGTL Technology Limited, Zero Petroleum
EMEC supplied green hydrogen and supported IGTL in the installation of a temporary synthetic gasoline demonstration plant at its onshore test facility at the Billia Croo wave test site.
This demonstration was the first time that green hydrogen, made in Orkney by electrolysis from water, was used as a feedstock for synthetic liquid fuel.
The gasoline demonstration plant was installed on a temporary basis over the summer of 2021. The demonstration is now complete and the equipment has been removed from the site.