Today Shell announced that they are teaming up with Virent Energy Systems Inc. to start production of biogasoline, making plants into gasoline and gasoline blends. The plant that they will be doing this at is in Madison, WA. The plant will have the capacity to produce 10,000 gallons per year.
The main aim of the fuel that they are creating seems to be so that it can be mixed into petrol gasoline and allow for the mix to be used in those vehicles that would have issue using mixed ethanol fuels. The technology used at this plant uses catalysts that will convert the plant sugars into hydrocarbons, not fermented into ethanol. Their efforts are still in the demonstration phase, using beets to create these fuels. The demonstration phase is a step up from the lab stage, making the fuel on a large scale rather than just a small scale.
This technology, if successful, could be an easy way to show people what we can really do with our biofuels, transitioning vehicles toward green r efforts in new ways. It seems like a really interesting prospect.