THE synthetic fuels or e-fuels, which combine hydrogen – produced from carbon-free sources such as renewable energies – and CO2 captured in the air or in industrial fumes, constitutes one of the avenues for decarbonize the aviation sector.
The process, however, requires great quantity of green electricity to produce which Germany does not have, underlined Carsten Spohr, CEO of the German airline group Lufthansa, during a national aviation conference in Hamburg (north). According to him, his airline “would need about half of Germany’s electricity to convert (it) into fuel» synthetic.
Because it has not been scaled to an industrial scale, this fuel also remains much more expensive than kerosene of fossil origin. It therefore appears “realistic“to Carsten Spohr to produce this synthetic fuel”abroad, where wind or solar power is available in virtually unlimited quantities“, he added, without naming a specific country. This path will be “long, but it’s the right one», said the boss of Lufthansa convinced.
Synthetic fuel should, however, remain a transitional technology, according to manufacturers in the sector, who are already working on the next stage of decarbonization involving aircraft flying on hydrogen. The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is developing technologies which should make it possible to launch a first hydrogen-powered regional aircraft in 2035.