Hyundai Bets on E-Fuel Research
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Hyundai Bets on E-Fuel Research

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Alfonso Núñez By Alfonso Núñez | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Thu, 03/31/2022 - 16:28

The South Korean Hyundai Motor Group announced a collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to develop an e-fuel based on the company’s ultra-lean burn technology.


The automotive industry is largely turning its attention toward sustainability, for which electrification has become one of today’s most popular trends for multiple automotive companies including Hyundai, which will invest US$16 billion in the area during the next eight years. However, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle-ownership is unlikely to disappear soon so it is vital to develop environmentally-friendly innovations to make their use more sustainable, such as Hyundai’s lean-burn fuel.


“BEVs and FCEVs will be Hyundai Motor Group’s ultimate technologies to achieve carbon neutral mobility, while eco-friendly ICE technology that combines eco-friendly fuel and ultra-lean burn engine will be the key to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions during our transition to EVs,” said Alain Raposo, Executive Vice President, Hyundai Motor Group, and Leader, Electrified Propulsion Technical Unit.


Through lean-burn technology, fuel can be burnt with an excess of air in internal combustion chambers, emitting less hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Additionally, a lean-burn combine can provide higher compression ratios, efficient fuel use and an overall better performance.


E-fuels are synthesized from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide and can lower a car’s emissions by up to 80 percent. The two-year collaborative research project aims to create an advanced fuel formulation for which Hyundai group will provide an ultra-lean-burn gasoline engine to be used by the research team.


Aramco will provide its advanced fuel technology services while KAUST will oversee the research and testing. The study will also measure the impact of e-fuel on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through simulation and engine testing. The incorporation of this future technology is one of the ways Hyundai Group is looking to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, along with Kia Corporation.


“Building more efficient and less polluting transport systems is a critical contribution to the circular carbon economy approach to tackling climate change. Our Clean Combustion Research Center is ideally placed to support this significant development with its excellent record in the development and optimization of low-carbon fuels,” said Donal Bradley, Vice President for Research, KAUS.


E-fuel could be a major contribution to the Mexican automotive industry’s sustainability plans, particularly as EVs continue to roll out at a slower pace in the country in comparison to other regions. Drivers will have to wait for these technologies to be developed first.

Photo by:   Unsplash, This Is Engineering RAEng

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