Which synthetic fuels are promising when it comes to application in heavy road transport, shipping and aviation in the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam and Schiphol airport? And, in the light of climate goals, how can their development and deployment be accelerated?



Which synthetic fuels (e-fuels) are promising for use in heavy road transport, shipping and aviation in the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam and Schiphol airport? Fuels considered in this project: hydrogen, methane, methanol, FT diesel / kerosene and ammonia.

For each mode of transport, research is done to find the most promising fuel and how that can be introduced.

The synthetic fuels are produced by (co-)electrolysis of hydrogen and synthesis with carbon. In the first instance, the CO2 released in industrial clusters can be captured and used to make fuels. In order to close the carbon cycle, it is envisaged that, at a later stage, CO2 can be removed directly from the air (direct air capture).

Specific questions to which an answer is sought in this study include:

  • What is the current state of technology and economic feasibility?
  • What requirements do partners set for using future e-fuels (per modality)?
  • Which value chains and new value cases can be developed?
  • What is needed for large-scale application?

What does the adoption roadmap look like?


  • The infrastructure of the current fuel sector makes it possible for Rotterdam to develop into a clean fuel hub.
  • Synthetic fuel production provides business opportunities for the chemical sector and refining.
  • CO2 can be reused in the energy transition towards 2050.
  • A leading role for the Netherlands in the technical development and application of synthetic fuels.
  • Insight into which synthetic fuels are economically promising.
  • Knowledge about possible directions for the development and application of synthetic fuels.
  • Rotterdam can become a location where electricity from offshore wind comes ashore. At times when the demand for electricity is lower than the supply, the surplus electricity can be used to produce synthetic fuels. Moreover, this prevents peak loads and makes it unnecessary for the electricity network to cope.
  • Refueling ships at the locations where they are already loading and unloading saves time and money, which is why the port of Rotterdam is a good bunker location.
  • It is possible that part of the existing storage and distribution channels can be used, depending on the preferred fuels.


  • Production of synthetic fuels is still very expensive. What can the development look like towards synthetic fuels as a competitive alternative?
  • Often changes to policies and regulations still must be made.
  • The safety of synthetic fuels must be guaranteed.
  • (Social) acceptance of synthetic fuels by users.
  • Involvement of partners is needed to organize supply and demand. The involvement is also needed to be able to coordinate.


  • Sustainably produced fuels and climate neutral transport.
  • Reuse of carbon for new applications.
  • Techno-economic analysis for various P2X fuels.
  • Insight into (new) value chains.
  • An adoption roadmap that shows which steps must be taken in the innovation process.


Deltalinqs, DMT, EICB, Enviu, Port of Amsterdam Authority, Port of Rotterdam Authority, MKC, NLR, TNO, VIV, Westerman Logistics.



April 2019 – April 2020.

This project is part of the Smart Energy & Industry roadmap. For more information about this project or this roadmap, please contact project developer Mel Valies.