D1 Takes Biodiesel to Le Mans
6 December 2005
|The D1 Lola B2K|
D1 Oils plc, the UK-based global producer of biodiesel, will sponsor a biodiesel-powered car in the Le Mans global series of sports car races. The objective of the D1 Lola B2K car is to test the performance, fuel efficiency and emissions produced by different biodiesel blends.
The D1 car and engine are being developed for Le Mans Prototype racing by groupBio, a UK-based racing team.
D1 will test fuel blends containing 5% (B5), 20% (B20) and 50% (B50) biodiesel, and research the performance and characteristics of biodiesel made from different vegetable oil feedstocks.
D1’s biodiesel feedstock of choice is jatropha curcas, a tree that grows in Africa, South East Asia and India. Jatropha seeds produce a high yield of vegetable oil that can be refined into biodiesel.
Unlike other biodiesel feedstocks, such as rapeseed, soy and palm, which require arable land to produce economic yields, jatropha grows on waste and marginal land and its planting will not displace essential food crops in developing countries.
This is about demonstrating that low emissions don’t mean low performance. We are entering a biodiesel car for Le Mans prototype racing because endurance events offer the best opportunity to test and improve the characteristics of this new green fuel.
What we learn about how different biodiesel blends perform in our engine is going to be of immense value to biodiesel feedstock producers and refiners, to car and engine manufacturers and to motorists who want to know that biodiesel will get them the mileage and performance they need while contributing less to global warming.
It also offers a strong opportunity to build the D1 brand as we expand our planting and refining business globally.—Philip Wood, CEO of D1
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