Zero races to renewables for synthetic petroleum


Synthetic fuel producer Zero Petroleum has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the South Australian government to explore opportunities for producing fuel from green hydrogen produced in the state..

The company demonstrated its product at the recent Adelaide Motorsport Festival, with a motorcycle powered by the company’s synthetic fuel racing around Victoria Park race course.

Synthetic fuels are liquid fuels produced artificially using renewable resources, instead of fossil fuels such as coal, gas or oil.

Zero is exploring opportunities for the rapid deployment of a revolutionary synthetic fuel plant in South Australia, and is targeting production as soon as 2026.

Zero’s proposed commercial-scale production plant would combine the company’s technology with green hydrogen, renewable power and carbon capture, potentially leading to the provision of fossil-free fuels to be used in existing combustion engines, including high performance machines, transport infrastructure and aviation.

The key element in the process is green hydrogen, with Zero exploring options to use hydrogen produced as part of the State Government’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan, which includes a 250 MW electrolyser and 200 MW hydrogen power station now under construction.

BOC Linde and Atco are constructing the hydrogen electrolyser and power station at Port Bonython near the industrial city of Whyalla.

Should it proceed, Zero’s proposed plant would produce six to 12 million litres of 100 per cent carbon-neutral gasoline, jet, and diesel fuel per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 60,000 tonnes each year.

The company was founded in 2020 by Formula 1 technical director at Williams, McLaren and Mercedes, Paddy Lowe, and academic Nilay Shah.

Lowe said: “The Government of South Australia has transformed the region into a global hub of renewable solar and wind power development, and Zero is excited by the prospect of joining its thriving green hydrogen economy.

“We have engaged with government stakeholders at all levels, who have earned their reputation as the most forward-thinking government in sustainability, and there is a clear pathway for synthetic fuel to help Australian consumers and transportation operators reduce net carbon emissions from existing vehicles.

“Zero’s synthetic solution drops into any engine without alterations, so whether you’re powering an exotic motorbike or critical transportation infrastructure, the result will be superior carbon-neutral performance. The future is bright for synthetic fuel in South Australia.”

Zero has become famous for its synthetic fuelling stunts, including a flight with the Royal Air Force that secured the Guinness World Records title of ‘first aircraft powered by synthetic fuel’.

Further reading:
ATCO and BOC Linde to build world first hydrogen power station

Picture: Zero Petroleum

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