TotalEnergies is developing a 100% renewable fuel “Excellium Racing 100” to be introduced from next season at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS).
The new fuel will be based on bioethanol, made from wine residues from the French agricultural industry, and from ETBE (Ethyl Tertio Butyl Ether) produced at TotalEnergies’ Feyzin refinery near Lyon (France) from feedstock also sourced from by the circular economy. This fuel should allow an immediate reduction of at least 65% of the racing cars’ CO2 emissions.
“Our ambition is to be a major player in the energy transition and to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, together with society,” declared Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies. “TotalEnergies is supporting its customers and partners in their evolutions, by thus applying its strategy to motorsport: sustainable liquid fuels, electricity, batteries, hybridization, hydrogen… Advanced biofuels have an undeniable part to play in helping the transport sector to reduce its CO2 emissions immediately. This 100% renewable fuel, that will be made available in motor racing as soon as 2022, is a perfect illustration. As we are becoming a broad energy company, the racing track is more than ever an open-air laboratory for TotalEnergies.”
Jean Todt, FIA President, said: “Endurance racing, by its nature, has always served as an excellent research and development platform and it is an important milestone to have the FIA World Endurance Championship switching to 100% sustainable fuel. It’s FIA’s major goal to implement sustainable energy sources across its portfolio of motor sport disciplines, thus paving the way in the reduction of CO₂ emission, perfectly reflecting our race-to-road strategy as well as the FIA’s PurposeDriven movement.”
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said: “Increasing awareness of social and environmental matters over the last few years has led the motor racing world to focus deeply on these issues. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has been an experimental playground for innovation ever since the first race in 1923 and this exciting new development is in perfect continuity with our founding principles. Our long-standing partner TotalEnergies channels its expertise into developing sustainable solutions. This new, fully renewable fuel is testament to our wholehearted commitment to CSR. When it comes to sustainable development, we continue to step up to the bar, delivering our promise to play our part in sustainable mobility.”
Frédéric Lequien, FIA WEC & ELMS CEO, commented: “It is extremely encouraging that TotalEnergies is paving the way for others and creating a 100% renewable fuel. I firmly believe that the WEC and ELMS are the ideal playground for TotalEnergies in order to trial its new innovative Excellium Racing 100 fuel. Endurance racing is the ultimate test for all road-related products and we are delighted that TotalEnergies has chosen our championships and Le Mans to help launch this cutting-edge new creation.”
The bioethanol or advanced ethanol used in the new fuel is an agricultural by-product made from residues from the wine industry, such as wine lees and grape pomace. Following several steps (industrial fermentation, distillation then dehydration), this base is then blended with ETBE (Ethyl Tertio Butyl Ether), itself a byproduct made from ethanol, and with several performance additives issued from the Excellium technology developed by TotalEnergies.