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Repsol to test French bio-isobutene derivatives

Repsol to test French bio-isobutene derivatives
Fermentation unit of Global Bioenergies Leuna biomass-to-isobutene demo plant (photo Gunter Binsack).

France-headed advanced biofuels and biochemical process developer Global Bioenergies has disclosed that it has received a purchase order from Spain-headed multi-energy major Repsol SA for "a volume" of its 100 percent bio-based ETBE to be used for formulation and performance assessment of gasoline.

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Ethyl-tert-butyl-ether (ETBE) is widely used as a high-octane component in gasoline.

However, standard ETBE, which is added up to around 15 percent of current gasoline, is only partially renewable as it is currently produced from renewable ethanol combined with fossil isobutene.

To produce a 100 percent bio-based ETBE, Global Bioenergies has converted wood residues into bio-isobutene and combined it with renewable ethanol.

According to Global Energies, using 100 percent bio-based ETBE in gasoline formulation would automatically increase the percentage of renewables in gasoline used in transportation, and thus reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of such fuels.

It could also be one of the key components to producing renewable gasoline and getting closer to the long-term goal of net zero carbon emissions.

We are thrilled to see our collaboration with Repsol move to the next level. The construction of our production unit in Pomacle is now completed, and we will soon be in a position to supply larger quantities of bio-isobutene and derivatives, which can serve to design, prepare and test high-performance formulations of renewable fuels, commented Bernard Chaud, Director of Industrial Strategy at Global Bioenergies.

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