There are a lot of problems to solve if Bertone wants a car to run on plastic-derived biofuel.
Recently, Bertone teased a new hypercar. We see hints of the Ferrari SF90 at the front, some Huracan Tecnica, and a little Bugatti at the rear. But most importantly, Bertone says this car will run on a very special fuel mix.
Reportedly, this secret sauce will be rather sustainable. Now, details are somewhat light given the car's as-yet-unreleased status, but the recently revived Bertone says its new supercar has been engineered to run on fuel made with plastic waste.
Others have worked this out before. Porsche is arguably at the forefront, working with biofuels for some time. Other high-end combustion-powered brands have also dipped some toes in.
As a quick refresher, Bertone actually went bust back in 2014. A bankruptcy filing later, and the brand was sold to Akka Italia, a subsidiary of the French Akka Technologies. Then, just two years ago, Bertone was sold to Mauro and Jean-Franck Ricci. The brothers are the minds behind the current revival of the storied brand. Odds are, if you've seen a supercar in the last 50 years, someone at Bertone designed it.
Unfortunately, Bertone hasn't elaborated on how the car's engine will run on this plastic-derived fuel, where Bertone (or for that matter, its customers) is getting it, or how it's made. What we do know is that converting plastic waste to fuel is an arduous and expensive task.
Washington State University researchers discovered a method of turning plastic waste into fuel via chemical recycling. Hypothetically, this method can turn plastic to fuel in one hour, per Harvard University's Science in the News. The method uses "a combination of ruthenium metal and carbon as the catalyst."
It can take 90% of plastic waste into fuel in an hour, and at much lower temperatures than before. Chemical recycling required highly wasteful and inefficient temperatures north of 300 degrees Celsius, but Washington State's method brings that down to 220 degrees Celsius.
Perhaps Bertone has found a method that is similarly efficient, though we imagine that the car will also be able to run on pump gas if customers don't have access to this new fuel.