In Patagonia, the two companies broke ground on a plant that will one day produce synthetic gasoline. In Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia, an industrial plant is to be built that will produce virtually CO2-neutral fuel. Porsche and Siemens Energy have now broken ground on the Haru Oni project. Initially, according to Porsche’s announcement, a pilot plant is to be completed in 2022, producing 130,000 liters of synthetic gasoline annually. In two stages, capacity is then to be expanded to around 55 million liters of e-fuels by 2024 and to around 550 million liters by 2026. The fuel is to be shipped to Europe via the nearby port. Siemens Energy is supplying the wind turbines that will be used to generate the electricity needed for electrolysis on site. This electricity splits water into oxyhydrogen gas (2H2O -> 2H2 + O2) by electrolysis. The hydrogen gas (H2) is bound to carbon, which thus does not end up in the atmosphere or is even removed from it (Direct Air Capture, DAC). For easier handling, the hydrogen is stored in liquid form as methanol (CH3OH). Methanol is used to produce gasoline.
E-fuels in racing
Porsche is already using 2nd generation synthetic fuels in the GT3 Cup. Porsche initially also wants to burn the 3rd generation fuels produced in the Patagonian pilot plant in club racing, where the high price is hardly noticeable, while on the other hand there is a technological image gain. Arguments against e-fuels mainly deal with efficiency and the amounts of energy required. Production depends, for example, on there being large surpluses of wind and solar power. There are none in Germany, but apparently there are in Patagonia.