Shell has agreed to buy some three million litres of waste-derived ethanol from Raízen, its joint venture in Brazil, in a big push towards sustainable biofuel.
As a biofuel, ethanol is renewable and results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional petrol and diesel. In the UK, for example, E10 petrol comprises 10% ethanol to reduce the associated carbon emissions. Ethanol is often produced from ingredients like sugar and corn, however, taking these products out of the edible food market at a time of rising prices. Environmental campaigners have also cited this practice as driving deforestation.
Raízen, in contrast, produces ethanol from sugar cane waste, and this is often called second-generation biofuel. The company is planning five new production facilities at a cost of $1.5 billion, with the first coming online within a few years. Shell’s deal with Raízen should help it meet the growing demand in the coming years.
Biofuel currently plays a minor role in transport energy needs, with it accounting for about 3.6% of global demand according to the International Energy Agency. Nevertheless, this is expected to increase as biofuel becomes attractive as a transitional fuel for reducing emissions in the near term until electric vehicles become more widespread.
In addition to being a producer of both traditional and sustainable fuels, Shell also makes a range of industrial products, such as the Shell Naturelle range of biodegradable, environmentally acceptable lubricants. At TrAchem, we’re proud to include these in our offerings, so contact our helpful team to learn more.