Fuels Production Processes

FuelSourcesProcesses
Liquid petroleum fuels (gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, bunker fuel)Conventional oil fields (ground and shore-based). Non-conventional sources (tar sands)Refining
Liquid synthetic fuelsNatural gas, coalGasification
BiodieselOil seed cropsEsterification, hydrogenation
EthanolGrain cropsSaccharification and distillation
Sugar crops (cane)Distillation
Advanced biodieselBiomass from crops or waste productsGasification
Compressed natural gas (CNG)Natural gasGasification
ElectricityCoal, gas, petroleum, nuclear, renewables (hydro, wind)Electric generator (source dependent)
HydrogenNatural gasReforming, compression
ElectricityElectrolysis
Direct production using other sourcesHigh temperature process

Source: adapted from IEA/OECD (2009) Transport, Energy and CO2: Moving toward sustainability. Paris: International Energy Agency.

Each fuel has specific sources and processes related to its transformation. The more marginal the sources and the more complex the processes, the higher the price and scarcity. A major challenge concerns the sustainability of the energy sources as well as of the processes leading to the creation of fuels that can be used by transportation.