Global Bioenergies, a French company that is developing a process to convert renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation, announces the signature of a collaboration with the German car-manufacturer Audi on the development of isobutene-derived isooctane, a high performance biofuel for gasoline engines.
Global Bioenergies, a NYSE Alternext Paris listed company, is a pioneer in the development of processes for the direct and cost-efficient transformation of renewable resources into light olefins, the key building blocks of the petrochemical industry. Its most advanced program consists in the production of bio-isobutene, a molecule with multiple applications, one of which allows its transformation into isooctane, the gold standard for gasoline engines (octane number 100). As a 100% drop-in fuel, it can be used in any blending ratio with all standard fuels for gasoline motors. It does not present the drawbacks associated with alcohol-based biofuels such as ethanol or isobutanol which lead to limited blending ratios and lower mileage per liter.
Audi, the world’s second-biggest maker of luxury cars (the first is another German company: BMW), is a frontrunner at implementing sustainable solutions for all aspects directly linked to its products. Three parameters are key to Audi in pushing forward the development of new biofuels: the quality of the fuel to ensure optimal compatibility with its engines, the environmental footprint in particular regarding CO2 emissions and the requirement to use feedstock not in competition with eatable resources.
Thomas Buhl, Head of Business Development at Global Bioenergies comments: “We had recently announced the start of our pre-commercial pilot phase at the Fraunhofer CBP in Leuna allowing obtaining high-purity isobutene which can be used for different applications. One crucial point of our collaboration with Audi will consist in supplying them with isooctane derived from our isobutene to be produced at that pilot. Furthermore, the collaboration with Audi will enable us to emphasize even more the usage of sustainable feedstock.”
During the two-year collaboration, this agreement also foresees the possibility for Audi to acquire shares of Global Bioenergies corresponding to less than 2% of its capital.