Porsche and ExxonMobil to test lower-carbon fuel under race conditions

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Porsche and ExxonMobil are set to test advanced biofuels and renewable lower-carbon e-fuels under a new agreement as the duo look toward consumer adoption of cleaner fuels.

Esso Renewable Racing Fuel – primarily a blend of advanced biofuels – has been specially formulated by ExxonMobil scientists and engineers. The company says the liquid biofuel has the potential to considerably reduce greenhouse emissions. It will be tested under race conditions when used to fuel Porsche Motorsport engines during the 2021 and 2022 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup seasons.

As part of the collaboration, Porsche and ExxonMobil will also concentrate on the development of e-fuels made from hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide. By 2022, the two companies aim to test a second version of the Esso Renewable Racing Fuel containing e-fuel components. When blended to current market fuel standards, it is estimated that this specific fuel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85%.

“The electrification of our vehicles is the highest priority for us,” commented Michael Steiner, the member of the executive board responsible for research and development at Porsche. “E-fuels are a good complement to our powertrain strategy. They allow our customers to drive cars with conventional combustion engines as well as plug-in hybrids with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. The collaboration with ExxonMobil enables us to test the e-fuels under demanding conditions on the racetrack. This is a further step toward making e-fuels an affordable and lower greenhouse gas emission substitute for conventional fuels.”

The hydrogen, which is combined with captured carbon dioxide drawn from the atmosphere to produce methanol, will be sourced from the Haru Oni pilot plant in Chile. ExxonMobil will provide the facility with support and licensing for the technology needed to convert methanol to gasoline. In the first pilot phase, the plant is expected to produce 130,000 liters of e-fuel during 2022.

“Over the past quarter century, we have worked together with Porsche to develop high-performance products that support Porsche’s vehicle performance on the racetrack and on the road,” said Andy Madden, vice president of strategy and planning for ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants. “Our continued collaboration on renewable and e-fuels is a critical step in assessing the technical capability and commercial viability of fuels that can significantly reduce emissions.”

The Esso Renewable Racing Fuel was tested on track for the first time at Zandvoort in the Netherlands on March 30, 2021. The agreement between Porsche and ExxonMobil will also see further development of more high-efficient fuels, lubricants and advanced plastics to make cars and trucks more fuel efficient.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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