Maersk Invests in Electrofuels Startup

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday September 23, 2021

A.P. Moller - Maersk today announced it has taken a minority stake in Silicon Valley-based electrofuels startup Prometheus Fuels as part of efforts to decarbonise its marine operations.

Electrofuels are a promising class of synthetic fuel that store electrical energy as liquid fuel. That electrical energy could come from any number of renewable sources such as wind or solar.

In Prometheus' case, the firm is using developing technology to produce carbon based electrofuels from direct air capture of CO2.

"Electrofuels are expected to play a key role for the decarbonisation of shipping and, if scaled successfully, Prometheus Fuels' technology will address a key constraint for carbon based electrofuels – namely the cost competitiveness of direct air capture," said Morten Bo Christiansen, Head of Decarbonisation, A.P. Moller - Maersk.

Along with synthetic alcohols such as green methanol, Maersk sees electrofuels as playing a key role in the decarbonisation of shipping as they have long-term scalability advantages compared to biobased fuels.

"Produced from renewable energy and water and ambient CO2 from direct air capture, it has the potential to offer infinite availability regardless of geographic scope," Maersk adds.

In contrast, a historical issue with growing biofuel demand has been competition with food crops both directly and via indirect land use change (ILUC).

"Our zero net carbon, zero sulphur electrofuel doesn't compete with food production – it comes from renewable electricity and air so its feedstock is limitless," says Rob McGinnis, Founder and CEO of Prometheus Fuels.

"Our electrofuel offers a truly viable solution to decarbonise shipping – one that can scale and be implemented in time to avoid catastrophic global warming."