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New technologies for sustainable transport

Eni has a leading role in the path to decarbonization of transportation thanks to a holistic approach to sustainable mobility

by Eni Staff
06 February 2020
7 min read
byEni Staff
06 February 2020
7 min read

Sustainable transport

About 14% of global CO2 emissions come from the transport sectors. In Europe and the United States, transport accounts for almost 30% of emissions. Promoting sustainable transport means reducing greenhouse gases, which cause climate change, and taking on one of the world's biggest challenges: protecting the environment. In 2015 the United Nations organisations approved the 2030 Agenda, an action programme setting out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for everyone in government, business and society to follow, to achieve sustainable growth from an economic, social and environmental point of view. Eni's mission now is the same as its one from 2016, but with the addition of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through this combination, we will meet global challenges by actively supporting a socially fair energy transition, to preserve our planet and provide efficient, sustainable energy resources for all.
Eni's work on sustainable transport, with neutral technology, aims for a synergistic mix of innovative solutions with minimal environmental impact and higher efficiency for the consumer. The synergistic innovative solutions on which our work is based reduce environmental impact, increase efficiency and meet the global need for fair, sustainable development. They take on board the SDGs, especially goals 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 13 (climate action).

Enipower

At the bio-refinery near Venice, the new vegetable oil treatment plant has been running since 2018.

Biofuel

Biofuel, unlike traditional fuel, does not come from fossil fuel, but biomass from vegetables. Eni accompanies its traditional production with green fuel, from bio-refineries converted from traditional refineries near Venice (2014) and at Gela (2019). Using its very own Ecofining technology, Eni produces Bio Diesel, a biofuel with better physical properties and performance, by processing vegetable oil. We hope to reach an overall load capacity of 1 million tonnes of green diesel by 2021. Eni's research also includes circular economy projects for using biomass, waste and rubbish, as new feedstock for producing biofuel in place of vegetable oil. 

One example is used cooking oil, which can be used as an alternative to processed oil when making biodiesel at the bio-refineries. About 50% of used cooking oil collected in Italy is processed at Eni's bio-refineries, thanks in part to the company's partnerships with the Utilitalia, CONOE and RenOils consortia, and agreements with various local companies. 

With a view to environmental sustainability, we reuse not just waste but also marginal land. In Tunisia in 2018, we began experimental farming of ricin on desert land that could not be used for other crops, to produce biofuel and the ideal biomass for Eni's bio-refineries. If the results of the experiment are positive, we may start growing on a large scale, which would feed the bio-refinery in Gela with a shorter, more sustainable supply chain.

Gas for transport, a sector in transition: CNG, LNG and biomethane

Methane is the most readily available of the alternative fuels with a low environmental impact. It is at hand from a distribution network of around 1,300 sales points and a consolidated market in Italy. In a circular way, Eni recovers biomass and waste from the agricultural chain and sets up plants to produce biomethane. To this end we have made collaborative agreements with Consorzio Italiano Biogas, Coldiretti and Confagricoltura, and talk with biogas-producing companies to promote biomethane from anaerobic digestion of biomass, farming waste and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. By strengthening our distribution network, we provide more compressed natural gas (CNG) for cars and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for HGVs.

Enjoy car sharing

Enjoy is our car-sharing service which aims to reduce the amount of private vehicles, lower traffic congestion and improve the quality of life for people living and working in cities. Enjoy began in Milan in December 2013 and now operates there and in Rome, Florence, Turin and Bologna, with a fleet of about 2,500 Fiat 500s and more than 100 Fiat Doblòs (some of them running on methane). It is based on a "free-floating" model which lets you pick up and drop off the cars in any place within the area covered by the service.

Eni for electric mobility

Eni has a four-year programme to install about 1,000 electric recharging points at its service stations. Our development plan for electric recharging points will see super-fast (350 kW) recharging stations set up on roads with a lot of traffic. These will provide up to 100 km of driving power in just 5 minutes, thanks to our agreement with Ionity, a joint venture between some of the top car makers. In city centres we will set up electric charging posts (50 kW).

 Through Eni Gas e Luce (with E-start) we offer customisable solutions for electric transport, based on the customer's requirements. These range from wallboxes for houses to posts for businesses. 

Eni and hydrogen for transport

Hydrogen is an energy vector that offers many opportunities in the short-to-medium term for reducing emissions from transport.
Vehicles run on fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, guaranteeing recharging and driving times similar to those in traditional vehicles run on internal combustion. With a view to sustainable transport run on hydrogen, we are creating two new service stations that will provide H2 at 700 bar. We have also signed a partnership agreement with Toyota. At the refinery near Venice, we have numerous research projects on the go into producing hydrogen at a high-temperature gasification plant for plasmix (non-recyclable plastic waste) and secondary solid fuel (SSF).

New solutions for sustainable transport

Besides the above research projects into biofuel and hydrogen, we are investing in other fuels. We have developed a Waste-to-Fuel technology  that converts organic fraction of municipal solid waste into bio-oil, which is then used as fuel (bunker oil) or semi-processed feedstock for bio-refineries. With the FCA group we have developed a new fuel, A20, based on a mix of 15% methanol and 5% bioethanol. This was experimented on for 13 months, in five Enjoy Fiat 500s, which were rented about 9,000 times and drove a total of 50,000 km with no problems.

Currently under study is a project at the refinery in Leghorn to produce methanol from waste (plasmix and SSF), then use it as an intermediate for petrol and petrol mixed with bioethanol (A20). 

Sustainable transport initiatives for employees

Eni's commitment to sustainable transport also involves reducing polluting emissions from its employees commuting. We come up with efficient solutions with a low environmental impact.
Eni encourages car pooling and provides company shuttle buses and discounts for local public transport. We also have bike stations for commuters.
Furthermore, thanks to its “mobility management’ service, Eni provides company fleets with the latest updates in motorisation and a low environmental impact.