Biofuel developments

Biofuels see a bright future.

Growing demand has seen Total increase its supply of E85 fuel in its French service station network. E85 is an ethanol fuel blend of 85% ethanol fuel and 15% gasoline or other hydrocarbon by volume.

Since the end of 2020, the company has more than 750 service stations offering E85.

Guillaume Larroque, President of Total Marketing France stated "Total wanted to accelerate the development of E85. This was in order to provide as many people as possible access to this low-carbon fuel at an attractive price."

Amongst its benefits, the blend has a favourable carbon footprint due to its composition and reduces CO2 emissions by more than 40% over the entire product life cycle. It is made from beet, wheat or corn.

Greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than those from gasoline, according to a study by Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E) which has found a decrease in emissions from the estimated 39% done by previous modelling.

The researchers suggested that it is possible to lower the carbon intensity of corn ethanol further through greater adoption of precision agriculture systems, retention of soil organic carbon and demand for co-products from ethanol production.

There seems to be almost no limit to the possibilities of biofuels with the lift-off of Stardust, the first commercial launch of a rocket powered by bio-derived fuel, sourced from farms around the world.

"We want to prove that a bio-derived fuel can serve just as well, if not better in some cases, than traditional fuels to power rockets and payloads to space," Sascha Deri, its inventor says.

Meanwhile yet another oil major, General Motors, has announced its intention to be carbon neutral by 2040. The company aspires to eliminate tailpipe emssions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.