Battle Started to Save ICE with ‘Green’ Gasoline

It is becoming increasingly clear that arbitrary mandates banning the sale of new ICE powered vehicles will see many motorists snubbing BEVs and holding on to their cars.

With this in mind, some companies and organizations are joining the movement towards exploring ‘green’ fuels that approach, or even meet, zero emission regulations using combustion technology. On such company is automotive supplier FEV which has joined a joint development to accelerate the development and deployment of climate-neutral fuels.

This project, dubbed Demonstrating a Circular Carbon Economy in Transport Along the Value Chain (DeCarTrans), coordinated by FEV, started in January and hopes, over the next four years, to demonstrate how renewable fuels can be produced on an industrial scale. Previous studies have shown that these synthetically produced fuels can enable a CO2-free existing fleet of vehicles without owners needing to make the switch to expensive and challenged BEV technology. In the Closed Carbon Cycle Mobility (C3-Mobility) research project, also coordinated by FEV, the 30 partners from industry and research have already demonstrated that synthetic gasoline produced from methanol is a promising fuel. The underlying process, methanol-to-gasoline from renewable methanol, uses “green” methanol that can be obtained from CO2 sources in industry or agriculture, for example.

FEV and its partners point out that because the transformation of the transport sector to fully electrified mobility is progressing only slowly, its greenhouse gas emissions are also declining only very slowly. To accelerate their reduction, it is therefore necessary to additionally address the existing fleet of vehicles with combustion engines. The use of liquid, renewable fuels play a key role in this.

The project expects to prove that the continuous production of synthetic gasoline in a demonstration plant on an industrial scale can achieve a total production of up to 380,000 liters (100,385 US gallons). The main objectives of the joint project are to improve process efficiency, such as through heat re-integration, and to increase product quality in order to reduce the emission of pollutants during combustion. In addition, the consortium is evaluating possible sales and market launch scenarios as well as the associated legal framework.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


  1. Avatar Jerry Roane 13th February 2023 @ 8:01 pm

    Nitrogen oxides are formed from the intake air. If these holdouts want to compete, they must add liquid oxygen to the tanks on the obsolete vehicles instead of relying on atmospheric nitrogen rich air. All the money spent trying to save the dying ICE would be better spent in other areas of research. It is the high compression high heat environment that combines nitrogen to oxygen in several forms. The rare very expensive metals in the present catalytic converter only take out some of the pollution leaving about 10% to spew out the rear end of the car and only getting 20% to 25% efficiency. All that and the piston sliding on an oiled sleeve only runs for about 2,000 hours before it needs replacement or remanufacturing.

    • TU-Editor TU-Editor 14th February 2023 @ 8:00 am

      You make interesting points but ignore the non-tailpipe emissions, such as microplastics from tire and brake wear, which will be greater than those from a lighter equivalent ICE powered vehicle. Also the wear and repair of ICE is far cheaper and more efficient than replacing a dying battery pack that, in most BEVs, requires the scrapping of the whole vehicle with little of the battery pack currently recyclable. Even Volvo admit that without ‘green’ electricity, its BEV products will produce more CO2 in the lifecycle than equivalent ICE car:

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