In 2035 it will be forbidden to sell new thermal cars in Europe. This European directive forces car manufacturers to turn to electric cars. On the Brussels side, this decision is justified by seeing it as an ecological step forward.
The ban on heat engines to come does not scare everyone. Some companies think they still have room for negotiation with the European authorities. Global Bioenergies, a French start-up has just received support from the oil company Shell.
Together, the companies hope to be able to produce an eco-responsible fuel in the next few years, demonstrating that combustion engines and pollution are two different things. Road transport may represent 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in France in 2021, the CEO of Global Bioenergies Marc Delcourt is sure of it “petrol cars still have good days ahead.”
Is it possible to make “green” gasoline?
By using the fermentation of plant resources, the company plans to produce 30,000 tonnes of its experimental fuel by 2030. Such a breakthrough would allow Europe to reconsider its legal text and leave certain thermal engines in circulation.
Before convincing Brussels, the project has already won over in Paris. On November 16, Global Bioenergies announced a first delivery of 200 liters for the French Air Force.
Based in Evry, the company hopes that its partnership with Shell will lead to the design of a “low carbon” road fuel. Shell’s experience should also help raise the octane rating. This index makes it possible to optimize combustion in the engine. If the octane number is too low, the fuel can ignite as soon as it is compressed, which damages the engine as a whole (particularly parts such as the crankshaft or the clutch).
Coming out of oil with your head held high
For Shell, this partnership with Global Bioenergies makes it possible to develop new fuels that are more respectful of the environment. Selda Gunsel, vice-president in charge of fuels and lubricants explains in particular that “Decarbonizing the mobility sector will require a range of solutions, and we want to explore different paths to get there.”
Today Global Bioenergies uses its plant resources fermentation technology for several industries. The brand has recently developed a range of eco-responsible cosmetics, LAST. Its arrival on the hydrocarbon market is a gamble, which could quickly pay off.
But the production of fuel from plant resources raises questions. A few years ago rapeseed was seen as the solution to oil. Its overproduction for the transport industry caused famines, forcing Europe to backtrack.