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Three different biofuels trialled by Games vehicle fleet

BP is trialling three different automotive biofuels for the first time at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

As Official Oil and Gas Partner of London 2012, BP is providing fuels and lubricants for the official fleet of over 5,000 vehicles. And through a range of public and business showcases under the banner ‘Fuelling the Future’ the company will publicise what it is doing to meet the global lower-carbon energy demands of today and the coming decades.

BP’s latest generation Ultimate petrol and diesel fuels will be used to fuel the majority of the official London 2012 fleet, which is provided by BMW, but the company is also demonstrating three “game-changing” biofuels for the first time at the Games.

Philip New, CEO BP Biofuels, explained: “These breakthrough technologies will redefine biofuels. By incorporating them in the fuels for London 2012 we have taken the next generation of biofuels from the laboratory to the road.”

These advanced biofuel blends have been specially produced to be trialled in around 100 vehicles of the Games’ fleet.

One, cellulosic ethanol, is made from purpose-grown energy grasses. Blended with BP Ultimate unleaded it is, at 103, the highest-octane fuel ever pumped from a UK forecourt.

Another of the biofuels is produced by transforming sugars into a renewable diesel fuel that performs like conventional diesel. Sugar-to-diesel can be made from any source of sugar and BP is currently developing the technology to take it from lab to pump.

The third fuel, biobutanol, is made by the advanced fermentation of plant sugars using a special microorganism. BP says the result is today’s highest energy density gasoline biofuel, delivering more miles per tank and offering excellent compatibility with modern engines compared to conventional biofuels.

The biobutanol used to fuel part of the Games fleet has been produced in the Butamax joint venture demonstration plant, constructed by BP and DuPont in the UK (Hull). This plant is at the forefront of developing the biobutanol technology which will be deployed globally at full commercial scale.

New said: “We are the only company in the world with the capability to connect expertise from the laboratory to the farm, to the factory and through to the driver.”

Currently biofuels make up three per cent of transport fuels used around the world. BP estimates they could account for seven per cent of all transport fuels by 2030.

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