Utilising waste plant material like wood chips and straw instead of food crops like soybean and rapeseed, 15,000 tonnes per year of the SunDiesel fuel will be produced at a pilot plant in eastern Germany. A much larger 200,000 tonnes per year BTL plant is to begin construction next year to quickly ramp up supply.
According to Choren, SunDiesel;
- has a high cetane number and therefore much better ignition performance than conventional diesel fuel,
- has no aromatics or sulfur and significantly reduces pollutants from exhaust emissions,
- can be used without any adjustment to existing infrastructure or engine systems,
- is largely CO2-neutral.
Analysis: Shell is already the world's biggest biofuel distributor and appears to be moving aggressively to retain their crown. BTL is a very exciting technology and will play a huge role over the next twenty years once the price comes down enough to compete with petroleum fuels.
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[Source: The Australian]