Volkswagen, Shell and Iogen Corporation will conduct a joint study to assess the economic feasibility of producing cellulosic ethanol in Germany.
Iogen, a Canadian biotech company, uses recombinant DNA-produced enzymes to break apart cellulose in biomass such as wheat straw, sugar-cane bagasse and corn stovers to produce the sugars that are then fermented to make fuel ethanol. (Earlier post.)
We are strongly committed to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and are looking for the most effective approach to substitute these fuels by innovative biofuels. That is the only way we can cost effectively satisfy people’s individual mobility needs in the long term.—Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG
Major investors in Iogen include Shell, Petro-Canada and the Government of Canada— Shell and Petro-Canada are supporting Iogen’s plans to build a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Canada. Shell is an equity investor in Iogen and has also taken a position in Biomass-to-Liquids manufacturer CHOREN Industries (earlier post).
All European and US automakers warrant the use of ethanol blends: 10% (E10) in North America and 5% (E5) in Europe. In 2003, the European Union issued a biofuel directive in response to anticipated shortages and rising costs of fossil fuels. The directive targets 5.75% biofuels by 2010. The US Energy Policy Act of 2005 introduced a nationwide renewable fuels standard (RFS) that will double the use of ethanol and biodiesel by 2012.