Some of BMW’s Olympic fleet cars will be trialling new biofuels during their official duties. Games sponsor BP is trialling what it calls ‘game-changing’ biofuel technology, with three new advanced biofuel blends.
Around 100 of BMW’s 4,000 strong Olympic fleet are trailing the new fuels; one fuel is an cellulosic ethanol developed from specially grown energy grasses, another is a sugar-to-diesel fuel which can be produced any source of sugar and the third is a biobutanol, made by the advanced fermentation of plant sugars by a special micro-organism.
What is genuinely impressive is that the cellulosic fuel, when blended with regular unleaded fuel it is, at 103, the highest-octane fuel ever pumped from a UK forecourt.
The biobutanol has been produced at the Butamax demonstration plant in Hull. This plant was established through a joint venture with DuPont, with the aim to developing biobutanol technology which can be deployed globally at full commercial scale.
Announcing the use of the three new fuels, Philip New, CEO BP Biofuels, explained: “These breakthrough technologies will redefine biofuels. By incorporating them in the fuels for London 2012 we have taken the next generation of biofuels from the laboratory to the road.”
“We are the only company in the world with the capability to connect expertise from the laboratory to the farm, to the factory and through to the driver.”
BP, one the more controversial sponsors of the London Olympic due to environmental criticism levelled at the firm in recent years (remember that oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago?), is now keen to assert that it believes that biofuels have a real part to play in meeting the energy demands of the future (presumably in a cleaner and safer manner than its met them in the past).
With biofuels already make up three per cent of transport fuels used around the world, the oil giant estimates they could account for seven per cent of all transport fuels by 2030.
See also Biofuels ‘only way’ to decarbonise road transport Biofuel rules could price older car drivers off the road EU approves ‘green’ biofuel schemes EPA gives final approval to E15 fuel Europe’s biofuel plans put ‘millions of lives in danger’ Top 10 strange ways to fuel your car. The Green Piece Morrisons expands biodiesel B30 availability Biofuels target to be slowed Reliance on biofuels to increase Idle drivers wasting £60 million in fuel
What is genuinely stupid is this statement..."What is genuinely impressive is that the cellulosic fuel, when blended with regular unleaded fuel it is, at 103, the highest-octane fuel ever pumped from a UK forecourt. "
1) From context it is difficult to tell precisely what octane they mean, but given that Europe tends to go by RON (not the road octane used in US), this statement is likely false. I strongly suspect back when leaded fuel was sold in England the RON was over 100 for their "ethyl".
2) The statement assumes or at least implies that higher octane gasoline is inherently better. It is not. Octnae is a single parameter and higher does not alone imply better. Bascially if all other properties are identical, once you are using a gasoline with enough octane, any additional octane is 'wasted' and you are wasting our $'s is you have pay more for the higher octane.
3) There is nothing magic about cellulosic ethanol vs. any other ethanol with respect to the octane. Where or how the ethanol is produced in no way impacts the resulting octane of a blend. They could take ethanol from corn or sugar cane or even from petroleum (yes it is possible to produce ethanol from oil), blend it in the regular unleaded fuel and you would get exactly the same octane for the blend.
Like I said, the statement made is stupid. It basically says nothing and what it does imply is in effect wrong. The statement doesn't even make a case for why biofuels are good.
"There is nothing magic about cellulosic ethanol vs. any other ethanol with respect to the octane."
Whats genuinely stupid about this statement is the dismissal of a magical component of something with respect to.... The construction of this sentence must come from confusion about a lot of things, especially magic, which can only be applied to things like Romney's underwear.