How are P1 Fuels produced?
At P1 we always focus on achieving the best performance in the engine of our customers.
In motorsports it all comes down to power and drivability. In standard cars efficiency and emissions have a much higher impact. However, the main goal always is to release the energy stored in the fuel completely.
Like a painter selects colours for a painting, we combine chemical components in a blend that represents the exact technical specifications of the intended fuel. Our AI tool enables us to reduce the computational time needed to select the target components and thus shortens the validation loops in the laboratory which leads to a reduction of costs and energy. Having a well defined structure of the intended product enables us to swap some chemical molecules for non-fossil ones.
What’s the biggest technical challenge?
The first requirement to satisfy when creating a regulated fuel is to meet the technical specifications. Within the FIA, the fuels are regulated by the AppJ 252.9. Standard fuels are regulated by regional legislations and can differ greatly. The technical specification define many, but not all, of the physical and chemical properties of the final product.
Depending on the application that the fuel is designed for, there are parameters that can be fine-tuned with the help of the different components. A good and complete combustion and energy release is only possible when the mixing of the fuel in the combustion chamber is perfect, the speed of the flame is high, and no „dangerous knocking” occurs. A good engine needs perfect fuel to become a great engine.
I like to compare the creation of special fuels and racing fuels to the creation of red wine. There is a lot of magic needed to create the final product. It’s of utmost importance to always maintain and reproduce the characteristics of the final fuel over the complete length of production. This gives our customers, drivers, and engine engineers the opportunity to always work with fuel with the exact same characteristics.
You’ve proven that you can produce high performance race fuels. What are the next steps in the development of fuels for the end consumer?
At P1 we have already developed many different fuels within the different regulations worldwide. Our customers are mainly engine developers, OEMs, and Tier1 and Tier2 suppliers, interested in having middle size volumes with different fuel characteristics for R&D in Europe.
It is a completely different picture when we talk about large-scale distribution at gas stations. In this case, the price of the fuel is the most important parameter and can be reduced by scaling the volumes of the raw materials up and reducing the overall production costs. We target end consumers who exactly know what they want in a fuel. Therefore, we will focus on industrial-scale fossil free fuels.