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Shell blends advanced biofuel into Shell V-Power gasoline 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 10% cellulosic ethanol into its Shell V-Power race fuel at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, in France on 13 June, 2009.

This will be the first time an advanced biofuel has been used in the gasoline at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. 

Cellulosic ethanol, as an end fuel, is identical to ethanol but it can offer up to 90% less lifecycle CO2 emissions than gasoline. 

The biofuel is produced at Iogen Energy Corporation’s demonstration plant in Ottawa, Canada.  Iogen and Shell are partners in the plant.

Richard Karlstetter, Shell Global Technology Manager, Racing Fuels, said “Shell is proud to be the offical fuel supplier for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  We see motorsport as a technical test bed and we are excited about demonstrating Iogen cellulosic ethanol in our Shell V-Power gasoline race fuel this year.”

This year will also be the second time Shell is blending another advanced biofuel, BTL (Biomass to Liquid), into its Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  A small amount will be used again, together with the established, high-performance GTL (Gas to Liquid) component. 

Daniel Poissenot, Sport Vice President from Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO), the Le Mans governing body said “The use of advanced biofuels in both Shell V-Power gasoline and diesel race fuels at Le Mans highlights the role of the racing series in demonstrating new technologies.”


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 100 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of Liquefied Natural Gas and Gas to Liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit http://www.shell.com

Iogen is a leading biotechnology firm specializing in cellulosic ethanol – a fully renewable transportation fuel made from agricultural residue that can be used in today’s cars. The company has been producing cellulosic ethanol at its Ottawa demonstration plant since 2004. Iogen also develops, manufactures and markets enzymes used to modify and improve the processing of natural fibers within the textile, animal feed and pulp and paper industries. In operation since 1974, Iogen is a privately held company located in Ottawa, Canada. For more information, visit www.iogen.ca.



Shell International Media Office
Media line: +31 70 377 3600
Bianca Ruakere: +44 7900 494 095

Notes to editors

  • Shell representatives will be present at media session organised by the ACO on 11 June 2009.
  • Shell V-Power Diesel is a high performance diesel fuel designed to help diesel engines deliver more power for longer. Already available at more than 8,000 service stations in 23 countries across the globe, Shell scientists have used the same fuel technology behind Shell V-Power Diesel to create this racing fuel for Le Mans.
  • Powered by Shell V-Power Diesel race formula, including GTL fuel, the Audi R10 TDI made history in 2006 by becoming the first diesel-engine car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.  Shell and Audi Sport repeated this success in 2007 and 2008.
  • GTL is a synthetic fuel made by Shell from natural gas, which provides very clean and efficient combustion.  It has been used in the Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel since 2006.
  • The Shell GTL fuel is produced from the GTL plant in Bintulu, Malayisa, which has been operating since 1993. GTL produces significantly lower levels of black smoke and particulates, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other local emissions than conventional refinery diesel fuel.
  • The small amount of BTL used in the Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel is made from wood chips and is produced from a collaboration with Choren Industries in Germany.
  • Shell is working to meet government mandates for biofuel and, with its experience and assets, has become the world’s largest distributor of biofuels. The company is working with biofuel manufacturers to secure cost-effective supply with clear social and environmental standards.
  • Shell is a leader in the development of advanced biofuels.  Shell’s global programme includes collaborations with Iogen, Choren, Codexis (on enzyme conversion) and Virent (on development of biogasoline), as well as a joint venture called Cellana (research of marine algae for vegetable oil).