Audi have announced the signature of a new collaboration agreement with Global Bioenergies to further broaden the feedstock flexibility of their Isobutene process. The two companies recently announced the delivery by Global Bioenergies to the German car giant of a first batch of isobutene-derived isooctane, a premium drop-in fuel for gasoline engines. Global Bioenergies had produced isobutene using its pilot plant located on the agri-business site of Pomacle, France. The isobutene was then shipped to Germany and converted into isooctane.
The initial collaboration, was expected to end in 2016, also encompasses the delivery of larger batches that will allow Audi to run comprehensive engine testing and thus validate the specifications of Global Bioenergies’ isooctane. Global Bioenergies will use its Demo plant, presently under construction on the site of the Leuna refinery, to produce these batches.
The now signed extension and enhancement of the collaboration agreement between the two companies focuses on making Global Bioenergies’ technology accessible for non-biomass derived carbon sources such as CO2 or CO and energy sources such as green hydrogen produced from wind or solar energy.
Reiner Mangold, Head of sustainable product development at Audi declares: “The two principal next steps we see on the path towards commercialization of Audi e-benzin consist in upscaling Global Bioenergies’ technology towards the demonstration scale, which is on its way in Leuna, as well as ensuring the technology can work with non-biomass derived feedstock according to Audi’s e-fuel strategy.”
Global Bioenergies is one of the few companies worldwide, and the only one in Europe, that is developing a process to convert renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation. The Company initially focused its efforts on the production of isobutene, one of the most important petrochemical building blocks that can be converted into fuels, plastics, organic glass and elastomers.
Marc Delcourt, CEO at Global Bioenergies added: “Isooctane is a premium gasoline, displaying both a high octane rating and a low volatility. Targeting its large scale production will benefit from extending our process compatibility to various feedstocks that do not compete with neither the food nor the feed production.”
This new agreement includes the payment of upfront and milestone fees, as well as the possibility for Audi to acquire shares of Global Bioenergies corresponding to less than 1% of its capital.
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