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Shell to use next generation biofuel at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race

Shell blends next generation biofuel into Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race 

Shell is demonstrating its commitment to fuels innovation and the development of sustainable, low-carbon fuels with the blending of BTL (Biomass to Liquids) into its Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, in France on June 14, 2008.

This will be the first time a second-generation biofuel has been used at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, highlighting the role of Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel as a test bed for new technologies and fuels innovation.  Shell V-Power Diesel also includes synthetic GTL (Gas to Liquids) Fuel made by Shell from natural gas, which provides very clean and efficient combustion.

BTL is a high-performance synthetic diesel fuel made from non-food biomass, such as forest residues and waste wood, and promises to reduce CO2 production by up to 90% compared to conventional diesel.

A small amount of this new biofuel will be blended into the Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel together with the established GTL component, which is already being produced at a commercial scale and has been used in the Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel since 2006.

In 2006, Shell, together with the Audi R10 TDI, re-wrote motorsport history by powering the first diesel-engine car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.  Audi Sport, an innovation leader in Turbo Diesel Technology and the inventor of TDI, repeated this success with Shell in 2007.

Through its collaboration with German company CHOREN Industries GmbH, Shell is working to develop BTL. A CHOREN facility produced the BTL blended into the Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel being used at Le Mans and CHOREN’s world-first demonstration commercial plant in Freiberg, Germany, is due to start producing fuel within 12 months.

Richard Karlstetter, Shell Global Technology Manager, Racing Fuels, said “It is still early commercial days for BTL but Shell sees motorsport as a technical test bed and we are excited about demonstrating the performance of Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel with both GTL and BTL.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport, commented “A key part of the success of the Audi R10 TDI at Le Mans lies in ensuring we have the right fuel to provide the car with more power for longer.  Shell V-Power Diesel is essential to Audi Sport’s success at Le Mans.”

Daniel Poissenot, Sport Vice President from Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO), the Le Mans governing body said “This will be the first time a second-generation biofuel is used at Le Mans, highlighting the role of the racing series in testing new technologies.” 

Shell V-Power Diesel is a high performance diesel fuel designed to help modern diesel engines deliver more power for longer. Already available at more than 7,000 service stations across Europe, Shell scientists have used the same fuel technology behind Shell V-Power Diesel to create this racing fuel for Le Mans.

Notes to editors: 
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 110 countries, with businesses including: oil and gas exploration; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals; and renewable energy projects including wind, solar and biofuels. 

Royal Dutch Shell plc is working to meet government mandates for biofuels and, with its experience, expertise and assets, has become the world’s largest distributor of biofuels.  The company is working with biofuel manufacturers today to secure cost-effective supply and press for social and environmental safeguards.  Shell is a leader in the development of next generation biofuels, using non-food bio materials, alternative processes and high-performance fuels.

CHOREN Industries GmbH is a world leader in gasification systems for solid materials containing carbon.  It has developed into the leading manufacturer of synthetic biofuels (BTL) with its internationally-patented Carbo-V process and has registered offices in Freiberg and Hamburg.  Shell became a shareholder in CHOREN Industries in 2005 and provides the Fischer Tropsch technology used in the BTL process, with associated technical support.
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