EU Science Hub

Opportunities and Threats for BTL Fuels in the EU

Abstract: 
At present BTL fuels are at experimental stage. Their market-scale application should not be expected before 2010. However, BTL fuels have a greater potential to secure and diversify the energy supply for transport in an environmentally compliant way than conventional biofuel. Compared to conventional biofuels, BTL fuels have a larger production potential, owing to higher biofuel yield per hectare and larger land area for growing feedstock, resulting in lower production costs as well. BTL fuels have also the best environmental performance amongst all transport fuels. The breakdown of BTL fractions better corresponds to the trends in fuel consumption than the fraction breakdown of oil refining. The rising oil prices reduced already significantly the cost gap between BTL and oil-derived fuels, if any gap at all. BTL production contributes to the security and diversity of the EU energy supply also by replacing the laternative gas-to-liduid (GTL) production from natural gas. The penetration of BTL fuels in the transport fuel market can be hampered by progress in CO2 capture and sequestration, poor progress in reducing global GHG, GTL production from coal, non-energy applications of BTL products, alternative energy and non-energy applications of land and biomass and other energy alternatives for transport. Keywords: synthetic biofuels, bio-energy strategy, market implementation