Corvette Racing and several other teams in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) have been running on cellulosic ethanol for two years now but the alcohol fuel made its first appearance in Formula One this past weekend. New F1 regulations for 2010 require a small component of oxygenated fuel. Ferrari and its fuel supplier Shell have developed a blend that contains cellulosic ethanol to provide the oxygen component.
Running on this new cellulosic ethanol blend, the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished first and second during the opening round at Bahrain. The Ferraris are running only a small percentage of ethanol compared to the 85 percent used in ALMS it is a start. The ethanol was produced at the Iogen demonstration plant near Ottawa Canada using wheat straw that was grown nearby. Shell is an investor in Iogen and the companies are developing a full-scale commercial scale plant in Saskatchewan.