Global Bioenergies and its partner Audi (earlier post) announced that the first batch of renewable gasoline using Global Bioenergies’ fermentative isobutene pathway has been produced. (Earlier post.) The batch will be presented to Audi by Global Bioenergies during a press conference to be held in Pomacle on 21 May.
The first isobutene batch produced from renewable resources (here: corn-derived glucose) at Global Bioenergies’ industrial pilot in Pomacle-Bazancourt, near Reims in France, had been delivered to the chemical company Arkema early May 2015. Subsequent isobutene batches have been converted into isooctane by the Fraunhofer Institute at the Leuna refinery near Leipzig where Global Bioenergies is now building its demo plant.
Isooctane is an additive currently used to improve gasoline quality and could also be used as a standalone fuel. It is indeed the standard from which the octane rating has been defined. In its pure form it would be labelled “unleaded 100”.
Besides the quality of the fuel, Global Bioenergies’ technology presents the key advantage that the fermentation process yields a gaseous product which is being dispensed from the liquid phase through spontaneous evaporation. This fact results in a significant reduction of process complexity as well as energy demand for the product separation on the way to isooctane.
This first batch of renewable gasoline represents a historic milestone. It is the kickoff of a new, large scale, and decentralized industry which respects the environment and will gradually substitute traditional fossil hydrocarbons.—Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies
The confirmation that Global Bioenergies’ renewable isobutene is compatible with a commonly used fossil isobutene to isooctane conversion technology represents a key step on our way to Audi ‘e- benzin’. We are now looking forward to working together with Global Bioenergies on a technology allowing the production of renewable isooctane not derived from biomass sources, following Audi’s ‘e-fuels’ strategy.—Reiner Mangold, Head of sustainable product development at Audi