The statement comes from the head of Mercedes Development and Research, Markus Schäfer, who predicted synthetic fuels for a bleak future, at least with regard to their use by the automotive industry.
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This may seem curious, coming from a manufacturer who has experience in the matter, since the gasoline that it develops in partnership with Petronas for Formula 1 engines is essentially synthetic. But the synthetic fuels that Schäfer now refers to are different.
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The gasoline obtained through the refining of crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons with 6 to 10 carbon atoms and about twice as much hydrogen. However, the refining product also has sulfur, nitrogen and matter that, once burned, will give rise to the particles. Mercedes / Petronas synthetic gasoline maintains a chemical structure close to C8H18, depending on the origin of the crude oil, but without other components that can pinch the power of the F1 1.6 V6 Turbo engines.
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What Schäfer argues as not interesting for the industry is carbon neutral synthetic gasoline. As gasoline will release carbon into the air whenever it is burned, the solution recommended by other manufacturers to keep combustion engines active, limiting their harmful emissions – especially as long as the batteries do not evolve and an efficient way to solve the problem arises. heavy road transport, sea and air – is to produce this fuel with carbon atoms removed from the atmosphere and hydrogen generated from renewable sources. In this way, when this synthetic gasoline is burned, it is limited to returning the carbon that left there to be manufactured to the atmosphere.