Blue Gasoline: VW, Bosch and Shell develop new clean fuel
As automakers move towards electrification and carbon neutrality, new cars powered only by an internal combustion engine (ICE) are gradually becoming a thing of the past. But despite this growing change, there are still those who believe that ECI emissions can be improved even further.
Take the example of Bosch, Volkswagen and Shell, who recently worked on a new type of fuel that they say is cleaner and emits less carbon emissions than any fuels currently sold today. It is called “Blue Gasoline” and it could become the future fuel source for any gasoline car.
According to the three companies, Blue Gasoline is made up of 33% renewable energies from Naptha biomass and ethanol. Naptha (AKA: tall oil) is a by-product of pulp production and has been certified renewable by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system.
This translates into cleaner emissions as it results in a 20% reduction in carbon emissions per kilometer. To prove it, Volkswagen operates a fleet of 1,000 Golfs powered by Blue Gasoline. Assuming all cars hit an annual mileage of 10,000 km each, Volkswagen says that alone could save over 230 metric tons of CO2 per year.
“On the road to climate-friendly mobility, we must ensure that no technical opportunities are left untapped, starting with electromobility and ending with renewable fuels. Every share of CO₂ we save can help us meet our climate goals, ”said Dr Uwe Gackstatter, President of Bosch Powertrain Solutions.
With cleaner fuel, it could complement hybrid vehicles or newer cars that still use ICEs. Bosch even claims that blue gasoline can be used in all new and existing vehicles that can run on ethanol-based fuel. But despite its electrification replacement potential, Bosch reiterates that it will only serve to help hybrid vehicles and new / existing vehicles that still only run on ICEs.
In order to promote its use, however, Bosch suggests focusing on renewable biomass and synthetic fuel components that can be blended into regular fuel in higher proportions. This way, it can be used alongside existing fuel standards and can be stored for longer periods without becoming obsolete.
“Blue gasoline is another cornerstone for effectively reducing CO₂ emissions from the vehicle fleet. The high storage stability of Blue Gasoline makes the fuel particularly suitable for use in plug-in hybrid vehicles. In the future, the expansion of the charging infrastructure and larger batteries will mean that these vehicles will run mainly on electric power, and therefore the fuel will be able to stay in the fuel tank for longer periods, ” said Sebastian Willmann, Head of Internal Combustion Engine Development at Volkswagen
With Blue Gasoline seemingly serving as the next generation of fuel for cars, the ICE vehicles of tomorrow could be as clean as hybrids. But can it be used on older vehicles? Unfortunately, this might not be the case as ethanol-based fuel may not be compatible with older engines / fuel systems. When not in use for long periods of time, it can damage the fuel tank, fuel lines, and even the engine.
If Bosch somehow finds a way to make it work on classic cars, it could eventually replace the standard fuels currently on the market today.