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Renewable fuel on the road

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Clariant, Haltermann and Mercedes-Benz have introduced a new fuel and launched it on the streets with a fleet test. The Clariant sunliquid® process converts wheat straw into cellulosic ethanol. Haltermann then mixes the cellulosic ethanol with conventional fuel components to form the new fuel. The production of cellulosic ethanol is virtually CO2 neutral, saving almost 100% of CO2 emissions when compared to gasoline. sunliquid20 is 20% cellulosic ethanol and there is no competition with food production or for agricultural acreage. A high octane number (RON) of over 100 guarantees optimal efficiency.

Over the next year, test fleet vehicles can be refilled with the new fuels at a specifically equipped gas station on the Mercedes-Benz site in Stuttgart-Unterurkheim. The cellulosic ethanol comes from the Clariant demonstration plant in Staubing, where 1400 t of agricultural residues such as grain straw or corn stover are converted into cellulosic ethanol each year.

Comments on the fuel
Professor Andre Koltermann, Head of Group Biotechnology at Clariant said, ‘cellulosic ethanol is a genuinely sustainable and advanced biofuel of the latest generation. It is produced in Germany from agricultural residues. The fleet test will demonstrate that the fuel is ready for market and technically compatible with in series vehicles at a blending rate of 20% with super gasoline. This shows that second generation biofuels based on agricultural residues are now technologically ready and available, not only in production but in application as well.’

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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