Neste in final testing phase of renewable "drop-in" gasoline
Photo courtesy of Neste

Neste in final testing phase of renewable “drop-in” gasoline

Neste Corp. says it is in the final phase of testing a renewable “drop-in” replacement for gasoline. Until now, there have been no commercial drop-in solutions for replacing fossil gasoline to reduce high amounts of greenhouse gas emissions from conventional petrol cars, without investing into new vehicles or modifying the old ones, the Finnish oil company says.

The testing takes place both in a laboratory setting with a free-standing engine, as well as through Neste’s own road tests with two vehicles. The purpose of the tests is to study the properties of the fuel and to make adjustments to the fuel, to further reduce emissions before commercial tests. Neste is planning to evaluate the results during the coming months. 

“Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) may be the first to have developed a renewable gasoline for such commercial use in the existing fleet,” the company said in a statement.

The EU recently increased its target for the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. There are also ambitious national targets in Sweden and Finland, for example, including separate emissions reduction mandates for the gasoline pool. However, the currently existing alternatives for gasoline-powered cars do not enable a significant reduction in fossil gasoline use in a short enough time frame.

Neste’s renewable gasoline can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 65% over the fuel’s life cycle when compared to fossil fuels, the company said. 

The aim for Neste is to improve this figure, to eventually achieve up to 90% emission reduction with the fuel use. This would mean that greenhouse gas emission over the life cycle of the fuel would be equivalent to those from an electric vehicle.

“With Neste’s renewable gasoline, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by up to 65% compared to fossil gasoline. Thus, countries could raise their national ambitions to reduce even more greenhouse gas emissions as the industry is able to introduce new, impactful solutions,” says Carl Nyberg, executive vice president, Renewable Road Transportation, Neste. 

The product fulfills Europe’s EN228 standard and can be used in both existing and new gasoline and hybrid cars. This renewable gasoline can provide another tool for the EU to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 from the levels in 1990, Neste said.

Tests of the new fuel are ongoing together with Powertrain Engineering Sweden AB, a supplier to Volvo Cars. Powertrain Engineering Sweden, which supplies Volvo Cars and other manufacturers with powertrains and the next-generation hybrid system, is now evaluating Neste’s renewable gasoline.

“We are following the development of renewable fuels, such as Neste’s renewable gasoline, with great interest, and we believe it has great potential. The combination of our products and Neste’s renewable gasoline will allow vehicle owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 65%,” says Michael Fleiss, CEO, Powertrain Engineering Sweden.