Volkswagen and Daimler AG have each acquired a minority shareholding in biofuel company, CHOREN Industries. The commitment aims to support the widespread market introduction of BTL (biomass to liquid), a second generation biofuel, whereby any sort of waste plant material can be used to make fuel. This is in contrast to current processes which can only use vegetable oils.
BTL is an ultrapure fuel, virtually free of sulphur and aromatics, which combusts with minimum emissions and is produced from various types of biogenetic feedstock and residue. The involvement of VW, as part of its 'Driving ideas' campaign, will provide further support to the development of BTL plants, with plans to produce 15,000 metric tons of fuel a year by 2008.
To put this into context, the planned Sigma plants have potential to make a significant contribution towards the German governments climate protection targets. The company believes that 10 to 15 CHOREN BTL plants could save up to 3 million metric tons of CO2 by 2020.