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Shell was one of the first energy companies to invest in advanced biofuels from non-edible plants and crop waste. We continue to invest in a range of projects and have our own research teams in the UK, the USA, the Netherlands and India.

Whether an advanced biofuel achieves commercial scale depends on overcoming a range of technical and economic challenges. Over the last ten years we have evaluated many different technologies in this area and set up five pilot plants with different partners. Now we are focusing on the commercialisation of a few select technologies and performing most of our technical work in-house.

Shell Technology Center Pilot Houston

We have built a pilot plant at our Technology Centre in Houston, USA, to produce biofuels that can be more easily mixed with petrol or diesel. This eliminates the need for additional blending and storage infrastructure, as well as engine modifications.

The pilot plant converts cellulosic biomass, which are non-food plants, into a range of products, including petrol, diesel and aviation fuel. In 2015, Shell will build a pilot plant to test technology that will produce cellulosic ethanol.

In Brazil, RaĆ­zen completed the construction of a plant in 2014 at its Costa Pinto mill to produce advanced biofuels from sugar-cane waste. The technology is provided by Iogen Energy. It is expected to produce 38 million litres of cellulosic ethanol a year.