Future Fuel Field Trial - Coryton

Sustainability
3 June 2021

Future Fuel Field Trial

Real world sustainability

 

As a company, we’re very conscious of the global challenge to decelerate and eventually stop climate warming effects driven by GHG emissions. Every lever to achieve that goal needs to be identified and used as soon as possible in order to make a real impact in the shortest possible time.

Even though they’re not in the focus of public media and political statements, sustainable liquid fuels for combustion engines offer an enormous opportunity to keep the existing fleet in motion in an environmentally friendly manner, while still using existing infrastructure.

Consequently, there may be no need to invest in time-consuming construction of new or additional infrastructures once such fuels become available in larger quantities – it enables both fuel suppliers and drivers all over the world to contribute to short-term climate-warming deceleration.

 

COR Bio-G EN228 E

In order to demonstrate this is not a scenario so far into the future, but actually feasible to realise now using existing technology and to motivate the industry to intensify their efforts to increase availability of sustainable fuels, we have started an internal field trial with real Coryton people and their cars.

The main objectives of the test

The key target of this qualitative trial was to use an existing and easily available Coryton GHG-saving future fuel (COR Bio-G EN228 E5) in a typical public average vehicle fleet


It was intended to shed light on real life experiences of “normal” people, driving “normal” vehicles, getting a flavour of general tendencies or significant impacts on performance, fuel economy and driveability.

A vehicle log was created to document the normal daily data like mileage, fuel consumption, unusual occurrences and driving impressions (perception).

Throughout 6 months, all participants were using COR Bio-G EN228 E5 only, and all drivers were asked to be very attentive to all potential changes, even minor ones.

The fuel

The fuel used was intended to represent a realistic option of the present, not an artificial small niche product which can be produced in small sample quantities only. For that reason, a blend was created containing Ethanol, ETBE and an exceptional high amount of bio-gasoline, all of which combined resulting in >50% v/v of bio-content.

Ethanol is added to gasoline fuel in some European countries already including the UK, and will be increased from up to 5% (E5) to up to 10% (E10) in the UK in 2021. The major difference of COR Bio-G EN228 E5 compared to current pump fuel is the EtG (Ethanol to Gasoline) component. This is produced in an environmental-friendly process using non-edible waste as raw material, and a significant proportion of sustainable energy for its conversion to a gasoline fuel. Considering all effects in this process, the accumulated GHG savings of our new fuel is 48.8% compared to conventional fossil fuel.

 

The Starting Point

The 8 vehicles involved in the 5 month field trial, represented different types and ages of cars and one motorcycle as shown below. All vehicles were used by their owners for > 12 months prior to the trial which enabled a good baseline for comparison.

Vehicle Make Model Engine size Model Year
1 Ford Kuga Titanium 1.6 2017
2 Seat Leon 1.8 2003
3 Audi A4 Quattro 2 2012
4 VW Golf FSI 1.6 2007
5 Mazda 2 Sport 1.5 2018
6 Ducati Hyper Motard 0.821 2013
7 Vauxhall Viva 1 2019
8 Seat Ibiza 1.2 2007
Table 1: List of field trial vehicles

For duration of the field trial, all drivers were asked to fully report all refills, road types they were using and in which proportion, unusual occurrences and their individual perception. Each driver was also asked to compare the driving characteristics with their previous experiences of their vehicle.

Lets look at the facts

We had 8 vehicles, over 6 months, covering 19,900 miles, with 64 refuelling's equating to 2,500 litres of COR Bio-G EN228 E5 fuel used!

Make Model Nr.Journey Miles Covered Performance reports City Motorway Other Gallons MPG
Ford Kuga Titanium 149 2693 3 11 495 2188 105.6 25.5
Seat Leon 169 3018 2 0 0 3018 99.2 30.4
Audi A4 Quattro 106 3417 10 925 2115 378 100.1 34.1
VW Golf FSI 212 2294 0 973 139 1182 68.4 35.5
Mazda 2 Sport 116 3926 2 0 2868 1058 60.9 64.5
Ducati Hyper Motard 55 1139 1 285 0 854 21.1 54
Vauxhall Viva 133 1740 0 905 816 19 36.7 47.4
Seat Ibiza 67 1647 10 95 1144 409 52.4 31.4

Key observations

28 performance reports were registered regarding observations during the field trial. 20 of those were considered fuel related, 6 were other issues e.g. a defective alternator or regular service/maintenance work, indicated by a service light on the dashboard.

In two cases, a short hesitation in the starting process was reported where any impact of the fuel could not be excluded. The majority of reports were about performance which was perceived to be better than with the conventional fuels previously used. In two cases fuel consumption savings were also observed (by 5% or 1 mpg increase), however most vehicles remained at the same fuel consumption levels as before.

Summary & Conclusion

The fuel developed by the team at Coryton has shown how much GHG emission reduction is possible compared to a traditional fossil fuel, just by using existing production streams and smart blending capabilities. Obviously, the overall production resources don´t currently allow a 100% coverage of the UK gasoline fuel demand, but the field trial demonstrates that there is no need for concerns and suspicions against new biofuels, which are produced by using waste raw materials.

The overall distance of almost 20,000 miles of the field trial has taken place emitting only half as much GHG-relevant CO2 into the environment than with conventional fossil fuel.

It was shown that there was no evidence for unusual changes in performance or reliability of the COR Bio-G EN228 E5, which is a positive and encouraging starting point for future experiments, utilising fuels with biogenic raw material up to 100%.

The field trial was intended to be a qualitative on-road test of an available future fuel in existing average vehicles. The fact that neither negative tendencies in any direction nor major individual issues occurred shows that this combination has passed the test for road-capability right from today! It’s an encouraging result that can support getting more understanding and acceptance of GHG reduced or even GHG neutral fuels in the future.