Fernando Alonso winning the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery

Corvette Racing and several other teams in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) have been running on cellulosic ethanol for two years now but the alcohol fuel made its first appearance in Formula One this past weekend. New F1 regulations for 2010 require a small component of oxygenated fuel. Ferrari and its fuel supplier Shell have developed a blend that contains cellulosic ethanol to provide the oxygen component.

Running on this new cellulosic ethanol blend, the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished first and second during the opening round at Bahrain. The Ferraris are running only a small percentage of ethanol compared to the 85 percent used in ALMS it is a start. The ethanol was produced at the Iogen demonstration plant near Ottawa Canada using wheat straw that was grown nearby. Shell is an investor in Iogen and the companies are developing a full-scale commercial scale plant in Saskatchewan.


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[Source: Canadian Press, Shell]


PRESS RELEASE

Shell blends advanced biofuel into Scuderia Ferrari race fuel for 2010 Formula One season
13/03/2010

Shell today announced that the 2010 season Formula One fuel supplied for Scuderia Ferrari contains an advanced biofuels component derived from cellulosic ethanol, an advanced biofuel made from straw.

This will be the first time an advanced biofuel has been used in the Shell V-Power race fuel used by technical partner Ferrari, in Formula One.

Cellulosic ethanol, as an end fuel, is identical to ethanol but it can offer up to 90% less lifecycle CO2 emissions than gasoline. It is a key part of Shell's strategic investment and development programme in sustainable biofuels.

The cellulosic ethanol was produced at Iogen Energy's demonstration plant in Ottawa, Canada, using non-food wheat straw and advanced conversion processes. Shell and Iogen are partners in the plant, which produced more than 500,000 litres of cellulosic ethanol last year.

Shell has been working closely together with Scuderia Ferrari since the middle of last year to develop a fuel that meets the new FIA regulations and maximises performance for the 2010 season.

Shell and Iogen Energy are working towards construction of a full-scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Saskatchewan Canada. The proposed project has met a number of significant milestones and the feasibility and design assessment work are well advanced.

"We are delighted that the fuel we are supplying to Scuderia Ferrari this season contains an advanced bio-component derived from Iogen cellulosic ethanol" says Dr Lisa Lilley, Shell's Technology Manager for Ferrari. "This announcement clearly demonstrates our commitment to the development of sustainable, low carbon fuels. At Shell, we are accelerating the research, development and demonstration of advanced biofuels and we are committed to technical innovation through our motorsport activities."