Bosch, Volkswagen and Shell join hands to make renewable fuel


Bosch, Shell and Volkswagen have joined hands to manufacture low carbon gasoline which will be called the Blue Gasoline. Following the footsteps of R33 Blue Diesel by Volkswagen, this new fuel will have 33 per cent renewables which will ensure a well-to-wheel reduction in carbon emissions of at least 20 per cent per kilometre driven.

This essentially means a fleet of 1,000 VW Golf VIII 1.5 TSIs alone could save more than 230 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, assuming an annual mileage of 10,000 kilometres each. The German manufacturer’s R33 Blue Diesel is a mix that has one-third of renewal components with diesel.

Shell is also ready to offset the remaining carbon emissions from the use of this fuel through certified offset plans. For now, the first step is to make the Blue Gasoline available at regular filling stations over the year, starting in Germany. “On the road to climate-friendly mobility, we must ensure we don’t leave any technical opportunities untapped, starting with electromobility and ending with renewable fuels. Every bit of CO₂ we save can help us achieve our climate targets,” said Uwe Gackstatter, president of the Bosch Powertrain Solutions division as per the press release.

Felix Balthasar, manager speciality fuels at Shell also added that this fuel will make gasoline engines more sustainable. Sebastian Willmann, head of Internal Combustion Engine Development at Volkswagen not only shared how this fuel will help in reducing carbon emissions but also emphasised its high storage stability which will make it suitable for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Blue Gasoline adheres to EN 228/E10 standard which is the European standard that specifies requirement and test methods for marketed and delivered unleaded petrol. The fuel also exceeds expectation in key parameters like storage stability and boiling behaviour. Premium quality additives in this help the engine to stay clean and protect it against corrosion. It can also be used in all new and existing vehicles which has Super 95 E10 gasoline approved.

The 33 per cent renewables in this mix comprises of biomass-based naphtha or ethanol certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system. One of the sources of this type of naphtha is tall oil, a by-product in the production of pulp for paper. However, this can also be obtained from other residual and waste materials.

The three partners together narrowed down to fuel specification that needed to be achieved, considering engine requirements and sustainability. They carried thorough testing on engine test benches and in trial vehicles. Bosch intends to bring Blue Gasoline at its company filling stations by May 2021, starting with its Schwieberdingen site. This will be followed by Feuerbach and Hildesheim sites this year. The company aims to steadily phase out the supply of conventional Super 95 E10 gasoline.

Bosch wants to make renewable low-carbon and carbon-neutral fuels a complement of electromobility. The usage of these fuels will slowly make its way in all mode of transportation however, it is unclear for those vehicles that are far from electrification. This also applies to heavy goods vehicles including ships and aircraft which have internal combustion engines or hybrid powertrains that are on the roads or will be produced in coming years. Also, the focus is on blending renewable biomass and synthetic fuel components in high proportion with regular fuel to make it more market-friendly.