Net-Zero Fuels

Decarbonizing the sectors of our economy where electrification isn’t practical.

A low-carbon energy transition is underway, spurring dramatic shifts to zero-emission energy carriers that are used to support our economy. While electricity made with minimal or no greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be the ideal net-zero energy carrier for many sectors, there are some sectors, including heavy freight and some industrial processes, where chemically based energy carriers are required to meet demands for range, energy density, rapid refueling or economic viability. As with low-carbon electricity generation, it is critical that, on a lifecycle basis, these chemically based energy carriers produce little or no net GHG emissions when they are oxidized to deliver their energy services.

Hydrogen or ammonia (that is made from hydrogen) are among the most promising chemically based zero emission energy carriers, so long as they are produced with minimal or no GHG emissions. They can be used as transportation or heating fuels, provide seasonal storage of renewable energy, and even make it possible to export zero-emission energy carriers by ship or pipeline to other nations.

Woody biomass and liquid or gaseous biofuels could also meet the net-zero energy carrier criteria as long as their production and ultimate combustion is not associated with the depletion of biosphere carbon stocks.

The Transition Accelerator uses techno-economic and environmental assessment tools to identify the most promising pathways in the transition to chemically based, zero-emission energy carriers.  We then work with governments and industry to align policy and investment decisions so that pilots, demonstration projects and commercialization initiatives can be launched to accelerate the transition.

Latest Content

Filter by Focus Areas:
Filter by content type:
Sort by post date: