Global Bioenergies and Shell to develop low-carbon road fuels
Photo courtesy of Shell

Global Bioenergies and Shell to develop low-carbon road fuels

Global Bioenergies, a French company producing light liquid hydrocarbons derived from agricultural products, and UK-based global energy major Shell have agreed to collaborate on the development and testing of low-carbon road fuels. 

The first phase of this agreement will evaluate new concepts based on high-octane gasoline components derived from bio-based feedstocks. The two companies will  conduct a joint research study, to identify and develop manufacturing methods to produce the  molecules required to create high-octane components. The agreement also allows for a period of  exclusivity to further develop these innovative concepts in the future. 

“We’re looking forward to working with  Shell on this important study. Whilst adoption of EVs continues to accelerate, it’s clear there is  still a role for internal combustion engines for many years to come. We expect the future of road  transportation will be based on an energy mix maximizing the role of decarbonised sources, in  which biofuels will be critical,” said Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies.

“We recognise that decarbonising the  mobility sector will require a range of solutions and we’re keen to explore different pathways to  achieve this. We are already evaluating the opportunity of off-taking volumes of isobutene and  derivatives from Global Bioenergies’ existing and future plants. It is collaborations, such as this,  that are helping accelerate progress in this space,” said Selda Gunsel, VP Fuels and Lubricants Technology, Shell.

Global Bioenergies has focused its strategy on the bioproduction of isobutene as this molecule is one of the main building blocks in the world of chemistry. Its derivatives can be used in a wide range of sectors from cosmetics and fine chemicals to commodities and fuels. The global market of isobutene reaches 15 million tons per year.

In June 2022, Global Bioenergies announced that Shell has ordered testing volumes of two bio-isobutene derivatives from Global Bioenergies. 

Shell plans to explore the possibility of replacing current hydrocarbon-based isobutene and its derivatives with their equivalents from renewable resources, while maintaining the same level of performance. Global Bioenergies brings ready-to-use solutions to industrialists in numerous areas. Such a switch to renewable isobutene could, in the future, allow for up to 70% less CO2 emissions compared to the hydrocarbon-based equivalent.