Shell Invests in Green Fuel Technology

Shell Invests in Green Fuel Technology

a href=http://www.greenbiz.com/frame/1.cfm?targetsite=http://www2.shell.com/hom... Oil Products has announced that it has purchased an equity stake in Iogen Energy Corporation, a Canadian bioethanol technology company.

Iogen Energy Corporation operates a full-scale biotechnology facility for the development, manufacture, and marketing of industrial enzymes, and owns a $35 million bioethanol demonstration plant, the only one of its kind in the world. According to Shell, the $29 million investment will enable the company to develop more rapidly the world's first commercial-scale biomass to ethanol plant.

“Bio-ethanol, when blended with gasoline, is one of a range of environmentally friendly fuels Shell is exploring as it has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions of vehicles,” said Duncan Macleod, manager of portfolio development for Shell Global Solutions International. "Bioethanol can become commercially viable, and we will be using our skills in fuel production and plant operations to reduce the cost of future production.”

Unlike conventional fuel ethanol, which is a high-octane alcohol produced from the fermentation of sugar derived from the starch in grains such as corn and wheat, bioethanol is made from the fermentation of sugars derived from the plant fibre in renewable feedstocks such as wood and straw. Compared with gasoline, ethanol made from plant fibre releases more than 90% lower carbon dioxide emissions - a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In certain countries – including Brazil, Sweden, and the U.S. -- ethanol is already blended into gasoline, but bioethanol potentially offers a more economic and sustainable blending component.

"Shell is a leader in the field of sustainable development and in producing clean fuels,” said Jeff Passmore, Iogen's executive vice president. “We are delighted that after an extensive global search they decided to invest in our company. At Iogen we believe bioethanol has the opportunity to deliver the most cost-effective and consumer friendly way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."