VW, Shell and Iogen to Study Producing Cellulose Ethanol in Germany

Volkswagen (VW), Shell and Iogen signed a letter of intent at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2006 recently held in Detroit, Michigan, to assess the economic feasibility of producing cellulose ethanol in Germany. Produced by Iogen, this biofuel can be used in today’s cars, reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 90 percent.

“We are strongly committed to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and are looking for the most effective approach to substitute these fuels by innovative biofuels. That is the only way we can cost effectively satisfy people’s individual mobility needs in the long term,” said Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. Iogen’s cellulose ethanol is a fully renewable, advanced biofuel made from the non-food portion of agriculture residue such as cereal straws and corn stover, and is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in road transport. Its cellulose ethanol technology, the result of more than 25 years of R&D, is housed in what the company calls the world’s only cellulose ethanol demonstration-scale facility, which made its first commercial shipments in April 2004. “Iogen has demonstrated that clean, renewable fuels for transport are no longer a dream, they are a reality,” said Brian Foody, Iogen President. “Today’s announcement marks the first signal of what could be a major change coming in the European fuel market. It will show that by integrating vehicle and fuel technologies, we can meet the ambitious, but necessary challenge of reducing reliance upon fossil fuels.” All automotive manufacturers warrant the use of cellulose ethanol blends: 10% (E10) in North America and 5% (E5) in Europe. In 2003, the European Union issued a biofuel directive in response to anticipated shortages and rising costs of fossil fuels. The directive targets 5.75% biofuels by 2010. The US Energy Policy Act of 2005 introduced a nationwide renewable fuels standard (RFS) that will double the use of ethanol and biodiesel by 2012.

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