Global Bioenergies gets German govt grant for bio-isobutene project
Photo by Steve Jurvetson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The German unit of French group Global Bioenergies (EPA:ALGBE) has won a EUR-400,000 (USD 446,000) grant from the federal ministry for research and education, BMBF, for a project that aims to produce renewable gasoline additives.
As part of the 14-month project, Global Bioenergies GmbH will produce 100% renewable ETBE, a molecule obtained by the condensation of ethanol and isobutene. Currently ETBE is used as a gasoline additive in large volumes, but is only half renewable because the isobutene used to produce it is derived from oil.
Global Bioenergies will produce isobutane at its Pomacle pilot plant, which will be converted into ETBE at the Leuna-based Fraunhofer CBP institute. The ETBE will then be shipped to German carmaker Audi (ETR:NSU) for laboratory testing.
Subsequently, the firm will convert the first batches of bio-isobutene to be made at the Leuna Demo facility into renewable isooctane, which Audi will use for preliminary engine testing.
“We are eager to receive larger batches to run preliminary engine testing. Our collaboration with Global Bioenergies, to develop e-gasoline (Audi e-benzin) is getting up to speed,” said Reiner Mangold, head of sustainable product development at Audi.
The CEO of Global Bioenergies’ German subsidiary said that the demo plant is expected to be completed this autumn.