Shell announced that it has blended a second advanced biofuel into fuel supplied to Scuderia Ferrari for the last three races of the 2010 Formula One championship. Scuderia Ferrari will use a fuel containing ‘‘biogasoline’’, a biofuel converted directly from plant sugars. The ‘‘biogasoline’’ has been produced by Shell’s technology partner Virent at its facility in Madison Wisconsin, USA.
Since the start of the Formula One season in March, the fuel Shell supplied to Scuderia Ferrari has contained a biofuel component made from cellulosic ethanol, an advanced biofuel made from straw. For the remaining three races of the season, the Shell fuel will contain both advanced biofuels.
The Virent process uses catalysts to convert plant sugars directly into petrol and petrol blend components, like those produced at a petroleum refinery. The sugars can be sourced from more sustainable non-food raw materials such as corn stover, wheat straw and sugar cane residue, or from conventional biofuel feedstocks such as sugar beet, corn, wheat and sugar cane. The energy content of Virent’s ‘‘biogasoline’’ is the same as or better than premium petrol and can be blended seamlessly into conventional petrol. In the future this could eliminate the need for any specialised infrastructure, engine modifications or blending equipment for use by Shell’s customers.
Shell has been working closely together with Scuderia Ferrari all season to develop the fuel supplied, by leveraging the current FIA regulations and continuing to optimise fuel performance.
“We are delighted that the fuel we are supplying to Scuderia Ferrari this season contains a second advanced bio-component,” says Dr Lisa Lilley, Shell’s Technology Manager for Ferrari. “This announcement clearly demonstrates Shell’s leadership and commitment to the development of sustainable, lower-carbon fuels. At Shell, we are accelerating the research, development and demonstration of advanced biofuels and we are committed to technical innovation through our motorsport activities.”
“We are very pleased to be the first Formula One team to be using two advanced biofuel components in our racing fuel, developed and supplied by Shell,” says Luca Marmorini, Head of the Engine & Electronics Department, Scuderia Ferrari. “Ferrari is proud to share the same commitment as Shell, in developing a more sustainable future in Formula One.”