Bosch Creates Its Own Synthetic, Carbon-Neutral Fuel

If Bosch has its way, the internal combustion engine will stick around for a long time.

The automotive parts supplier has created a manufacturing process for synthetic fuel that allows ICEs to be carbon-neutral. The net result could be a reduction of 2.8 gigatons of CO2 in Europe by the year 2050. It hopes to get automakers on board to make the fuel a reality.

Bosch’s process sees greenhouse gas turned into a raw material which can then be turned into petrol, diesel or natural gas.

“Up until recently, a carbon-neutral combustion engine was the stuff of dreams. Now it may soon become reality. The secret lies in synthetic, or carbon-neutral, fuels, whose manufacturing process captures CO2.

“Synthetic fuels can make gasoline- and diesel-powered cars carbon-neutral, and thus make a significant contribution to limiting global warming,” chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr Volkmar Denner said.

If a synthetic fuel for a hybrid was developed using renewable energy, Bosch says that over a distance of 160,000 km, the cost of ownership of the hybrid could actually be cheaper than the running costs of an all-electric car.

Note: Bosch has informed us that there’s no guarantee it itself will develop a unique synthetic fuel but rather wants the industry to work together on the technology.

PHOTO GALLERY

  • BobV12

    Nice, needs figures and demos now. Aaaaaaand… a price.

    • Aquaflex

      It’s probably gonna be at least twice what super unleaded is but hey if it’s carbon neutral and least go for it until EV totally take over. Not sure why they did not do this years ago….if it actually works and is not vaporware!

      • BobV12

        If governments label it under the same conditions as electricity regarding taxes, noisy sportscars will survive !

  • Fled

    I was at a conference where Audi was trying to pedal this as well (before Dieselgate exploded). Basically, the idea is to produce synthetic fuel using a combo of renewable energy to power the entire supply chain. So by the time you burn the fuel in your car, the argument is that the CO2 has already been previously removed from the ecosystem, so its neutral. This is lengths to which a 100 year old regime will go to preserve the monopoly. I would too if I were a multinational like BOSCH who felt their days were numbered. Good luck (sarcasm).

    • Silimarina

      BOSCH days numbered?

      • Fled

        Well declining profits in the medium-long term for sure. My bet is EV propulsion + Shared autonomy will eat into these kinds of companies (Tier 1 suppliers). The ICE 2000+ moving parts compared to an EV’s ~20 moving parts….What happens to the suppliers who used to provide the other 99% of parts no longer used? the math is there. Most damning of all is when the ratios of car ownership flip, moving from 1 traveller: 1 private car to 10 travellers: 1 autonomous pod. I’m willing to be wrong, but given various arms races in the industry right now, OEMs certainly think it is a possibility in the spectrum of possible future scenarios. Good news is that the used car market will fall off a cliff and be a collector’s dream.

        • Aquaflex

          You said it!

        • There Should Be No Arms Race

          “…ICE 2000+ moving parts compared to an EV’s ~20 moving parts…” Yes, but the cost of these fewer parts will be as high if not higher than the multitude of parts they replace; cost to repair, owed to the higher costs of parts. will likely be much higher too. So there’s a trade off—both good and bad. I do applaud Bosch for moving ahead with alternatives versus investors pushing one from of energy, which I find foolish, as we neglect innovations elsewhere and reduce our energy contingency plans.

          However, all this could be moot given a pandemic or two. Throw in some rash international or civil wars and the future is even more in question.

        • jarooo4

          You have some point but on the other hand Bosh isn’t making parts only FOR ICE so… diversification.

        • Silimarina

          Well Bosche also makes home appliances, industrial machines, etc..And i’m sure they will build parts for EV’s cars also.This company has their eggs in more than one basket.

      • OdysseyTag

        Probably not. Bosch is simply too big and integral to the automotive industry to die out. At the very least, if their business model is threatened, they will pivot and adapt as we are slowly seeing with its homeland automakers.

  • Jimbo

    What’s the catch? There’s always a catch.

  • INTERESTING BUT A LITTLE LATE TO THE GAME.

    • Six Thousand Times

      Why late?

      • WE’VE BEEN RUNNING OUT OF GAS FOR A LONG TIME AND PEOPLE ARE FINALLY CONSIDERING ELECTRIC SO COMING UP WITH THIS NOW DOESN’T SEEM TO BE MUCH HELP. IT’S NOT LIKE THEY’RE GOING TO BE SELLING THIS ANYTIME SOON. IT TAKES TIME.

        • brn

          Pickup sales are at an all time high.

          Natural resources for batteries aren’t as plentiful as you might think.

          I’m all for electric, but the need for ICE will be around a long time.

        • Six Thousand Times

          OK but there are still plenty of reasons why electric cars haven’t completely taken over yet and this may keep existing ICEs running for years to come.

          • GIVEN THAT THE FIRST VIABLE ELECTRIC HAS ONLY BEEN AROUND SINCE 2012/13 YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT. ELECTRICS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE BEFORE ICE’S AND IT TOOK ALL THIS TIME TO MAKE IT PRACTICAL. NOW THAT IT IS ALL THE MAJOR COMPANIES ARE SCRAMBLING TO CATCH UP. I DON’T THINK ICE’S ARE GOING ANYWHERE ANYTIME SOON. BUT A NEW TYPE OF FUEL SHOWING UP NOW IS LATE IN THE GAME, GIVEN THE GESTATION PERIOD IT TAKES TO PERFECT. IT’D BE GREAT IT IT COULD BE ACCELERATED AND PUT ON THE MARKET, WE’LL SEE.

  • gary4205

    It’s IMPOSSIBLE to be “carbon neutral” since everyone and everything is carbon based!

    Also carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant. Co2 is arguably THE single most essential thing for all life on Earth.

    There is already a process to take natural gas, turn it into a solid, then liquid diesel fuel. This fuel eliminates all of the harmful emmissions. In fact it’s as close to a zero emmissions solution as exists. (Net….net….net)

    The only significant by-product of the gas-solid-liquid process is water. Potable water.

    There is a need to use this process to create gasoline.

    Oh….and it’s affordable.

    • Silimarina

      gary CO2 is not a pollutant. It’s just a greenhouse gas.I don’t think i should explain what a greenhouse gas does.And to much CO2 is even bad for plant life.

      • Six Thousand Times

        He’s not one of our brighter bulbs…

        • Status

          He is from Texas, and not terribly intelligent (he still thinks evolution is a wild guess).

        • Silimarina

          i don’t think of him this way.He is just misinformed.Plus there are many types of intelligence.

          • Six Thousand Times

            There’s also the “lacking in” category.

  • Maar

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/bosch-synthetic-fuel-news-uses-co2-reduction/

    Updated by Ronan Glon: Added quote which clarifies Bosch isn’t currently developing synthetic fuel.

  • Emoto

    Misleading headline is misleading.

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