Volkswagen partners with biofuel companies

Car manufacturer Volkswagen has partnered with biofuels companies Solazyme and Amyris to evaluate the amount of emissions produced from biodiesel in order to show the environmental benefits.

Volkswagen is to supply the companies with two cars – the 2012 Passat TDI and 2012 Jetta TDI – so that they can examine the effects the fuels will have on the Volkswagen clean diesel technology and the environment.

Over the course of 12 months, the car manufacturer’s engineers will collect data that will help them to further develop efficient, cleaner burning diesel for products in the future.

Previous analysis has shown that while advanced biofuels are similar to standard diesel blends when it comes to performance, they produce significantly less vehicle emissions.

Amyris’ fuel is derived from plant sugars and turned into renewable hydrocarbons that can be used for fuel and chemical applications. Solazyme has produced technology that uses microalgae to make oil products.

‘Amyris' renewable diesel's proven superior cold weather performance, high cetane and comparable energy density to petroleum diesel have enabled us to obtain one of the highest blending registrations certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency,’ says Mario Portela, COO of Amyris. ‘Our partnership with Volkswagen, like our work in Brazil, where nearly 200 buses are running on various blends of Amyris diesel, is another important milestone in expanding OEM acceptance by showing our fuels eliminate the performance challenges of first generation biofuels while still enabling significant reductions in greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions.’

Rogerio Manso, COO of Solazyme, adds: ‘Solazyme's 100% drop-in renewable diesel is compatible with existing infrastructure and vehicles, and provides the world-class engine manufacturer with an advanced diesel replacement that drives significant greenhouse gases as well as ground-level emission reductions.’

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