Shell's experience in biofuel production

Shell's experience and investment in biofuel technology has helped in its general development. Shell works with a range of stakeholders in government, industry and the community to explore a variety of options to provide transportation fuels that meet society’s needs in a sustainable way. The current generation of bioesters, derived from food crops, represents one of the options, but it is by no means a complete answer. Shell is already working with others to develop the next generation of biofuels that will utilize waste materials as feedstock in place of edible oils.

The Malaysian government has mandated biofuel for the transport and mining sectors with the aim of reducing overall CO2 emissions and consumption of fossil fuels, while enhancing energy supply security and supporting the local agriculture industry.

What is biodiesel?

Biodiesel (or FAME) is a type of diesel fuel that is made from vegetable or animal oil rather than fossil crude oil. FAME stands for Fatty Acid Methyl Ester and is produced via a chemical transformation of vegetable oils (e.g. rapeseed, soy) into their corresponding esters. Until that transformation (called transesterification) takes place,  cooking oils and other vegetable oils are simply the feedstock for biodiesel production.

Customers who use products with bio content in heavy-duty vehicles, particularly at levels higher than 10%, need to be aware that some properties of biodiesel are different to those of conventional diesel. This warrants certain changes in the way fuels with higher bio concentrations are stored and handled.

Why use biodiesel?

  • Lower “well-to-wheel” CO2 alternative to conventional diesel and a step towards alternative industrial fuels.**
  • Helps diversify the liquid road transport and industrial fuel pool.
  • Helps to improves energy security – particularly when domestic raw or waste materials are used which are produced sustainably.
  • OEMs generally accept biodiesel blends up to B7 as part of the European specification for diesel fuel, EN590, ASTM D6751 or equivalent.
    ** Depends on several factors, such as how the raw materials are produced.


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