Shell to sell gasoline blended with cellulosic ethanol

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, June 10 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC on June 10 launched a month-long demonstration selling gasoline blended with 10% cellulosic ethanol at a Shell service station in Ottawa, Ont.

The cellulosic ethanol, made from wheat straw, was produced at Iogen Energy Corp.’s demonstration plant in Ottawa using advanced conversion processes. Iogen and Shell are partners in the plant, which produces 40,000 l./month of fuel.

The demonstration is part of Shell’s strategic investment and development program in sustainable biofuels.

Graeme Sweeney, Shell executive vice-president future fuels, said this demonstration is an indication of what is possible in the future.

“While it will be some time before general customers can buy this product at local service stations, we are working with governments to make large-scale production economic,” Sweeney said.

Brian Foody, Iogen Corp. chief executive officer, said, “Building a demo plant is one thing but you then need to go through the process of operating the new technology at scale, learning, modifying and lowering costs.”

Iogen, a biotechnology firm, has produced cellulosic ethanol at its Ottawa demonstration plant since 2004.

Shell also is working with German company Choren to launch a new biofuels plant that will convert biomass, such as woodchips, into synthetic fuel, which is then being marketed by Choren as SunFuel.

The fuel is being used in diesel engines and can reduce emissions. The 15,000 tonne/year plant uses waste plant material. Shell earlier signed a letter of intent with Volkswagen and Iogen to assess the economic feasibility of producing cellulose ethanol in Germany.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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