This report provides a comprehensive analysis of research and innovation in alternative fuels in selected European Union (EU) funded projects from 2007 onwards. It identifies relevant researched technologies by fuel type and their phase of development.
The results show that liquefied petroleum gas technologies are fully developed while methane-based fuels are in the last phases of development. However, they have a limited overall environmental advantage over conventional fuels, since they are equally mostly based on fossil energy sources and might have issues related to pollutant emissions and leakage.
Technologies for synthetic paraffinic fuels, and alcohols, esters and ethers are in earlier phases of development hinting to a steady shift to a more sustainable production. So far, road transport has the highest use of alternative fuels in the transport sector. Despite financial support from the EU, advances have yet to materialise suggesting EU transport decarbonisation policies should not expect a radical or sudden change, and therefore, transition periods are critical.