F1 and sustainable fuel explained (briefly)

"Their efforts towards innovation and their sustainability strategy are increasing, which is why, in 2019, they announced their commitment to reach zero carbon emissions by 2030, by setting goals together with their sports community."
Por Clarisa Benavides
Jul 18, 2022

Currently, Formula 1 is one of the most popular sports in the world. In which its cars and the technology used to build and run them are very advanced, even the type of fuel used is very advanced.

Their efforts towards innovation and their sustainability strategy are increasing, which is why, in 2019, they announced their commitment to reach zero carbon emissions by 2030, by setting goals together with their sports community. And in conjunction with the Manual of Sustainable Fuel Technologies by Suman Dutta and Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain, which states that the world’s energy demand is met mainly from fossil fuels, and that it is necessary to produce new sustainable fuels based on renewable energy sources , which despite their inherent dependence on climatic conditions are intermittent.

F1

F1 is developing a 100% sustainable fuel.

With the support of its main stakeholders, including the FIA, Aramco, fuel suppliers, the F1 teams and manufacturers; which will be used from 2026, and new generation hybrid engines will be introduced.

For F1, sustainable fuel consists of ethanol produced from plants that are not used as fuel. Likewise, food, agricultural and other biomass residues can be used for its creation. Biofuels produced through carbon capture are also considered sustainable.

Even though racing fuel accounts for less than 1% of emissions, it is the area where F1 can have the biggest effect on the global transport sector.



But how can this fuel have the potential to be adopted in cars around the world? This is because F1 cars use a mixture of gasoline that is carefully regulated to be very similar to standard gasoline, the E10 blend contains 10% sustainable ethanol. So, while there are many nuances that teams and their fuel partners exploit to gain an advantage over the competition, there are regulators that prohibit teams’ fuel suppliers from including power-enhancing chemicals that aren’t present. In standard fuel, so that they fit the reality of the motoring world.

What benefits does this fuel provide?

The answer is that it was designed to help accelerate adoption and lower costs for use in existing road, internal combustion engine (fossil fuel-powered) and hybrid cars.

It is important to note that switching to a fully renewable fuel will not reduce performance. As the energy density of the sustainable fuel is intended to be similar to that of current fuel, with minimal effect on competition.

In short, the use of sustainable fuel in F1 is not only significant for the environment, but also allows its audience to learn about this type of alternative, encouraging adaptability to its use and being able to penetrate new markets.

References:

Dutta, S. Hussain, C. (2020). Sustainable Fuel Technologies Handbook. 

Formula1. (2022). Fórmula 1 continues push to hit Net-Zero Carbon by 2030 target. Recuperado de https://corp.formula1.com/formula-1-continues-push-to-hit-net-zero-carbon-by-2030-target/#:~:text=F1%20is%20developing%20a%20100,adopted%20in%20road%20cars%20globally.

Flowracers. (2022). Recuperado de https://flowracers.com/blog/what-fuel-do-f1-cars-use/

Jarrod. (2020). Recuperado de https://f1chronicle.com/what-fuel-do-formula-1-cars-use/

Clarisa Benavides

Clarisa Benavides

Science & Technology writer in The Bookish Man.
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