Abstract

With increasing fuel efficiency targets and greenhouse gas balance (GHG) targets in many countries, fuel providers face a number of challenges and opportunities in supplying the type of fuel that is demanded by current and future engines and legislators. Due to a number of drivers including GHG targets and domestic economic development, legislation has stipulated that many of these fuels will be based on bio-components and this has created a global biofuels industry.

This industry has been largely driven by legislation and it is likely to continue to be so into the future. Legislated demand around the world, such as the mandated level of 10% energy content in all transport fuels by 2020 in the EU and the 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022 as part of the RFS2 in the US, indicates the material (volumetrically and financially) impact that this will have on the global fuels industry. Furthermore, despite a number of concerns (water, food vs fuel, sustainability) it is possible (and even likely) that mandated levels will increase beyond these dates.

Concurrently, we are seeing the development of a range of technologies to help drive the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. Fuel providers are not only looking at how they can deliver fuels that satisfy biofuel mandates, they are also looking at how these fuels can be used to boost the performance of these engines through elements such as octane and RVP.

Our paper looks at the likely range of fuels and compounds that will be available to fuel providers out to 2020 (such as biobutanol, HVO, ETBE, MTBE, UCO, TAME, etc), the challenges and opportunities of using these fuels and what fuel companies can do to manage uncertainty in this area. Within this we will examine:

  • Technology research including additives, chemicals/catalysts and process/unit technologies

  • New engine/platform technologies (lean burn gasoline, GDI turbo downsize with boosting, next generation diesel, etc)

  • Impact on refiners and how they can blend biofuels optimally

  • Impact on the supply chain and pricing dynamics

  • How fuel companies can create a commercially successful formula in this market

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