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St1 and VTT bring bio-motoring to the North

Two years ago, St1 brought to market the ethanol-based RE85 fuel, containing ethanol produced by the company from biowaste. VTT has been developing the characteristics of the RE85 fuel to meet northern conditions. Now its distribution will be extended to cover the whole country.

In its tests, VTT found an optimal blend for the RE85, which can ensure the startability of flex-fuel cars and reduces exhaust emissions in cold northern conditions. The results of VTT research confirm that this fuel works well even in very low temperatures.

The fuel project is part of the five-year TransEco research programme, coordinated by VTT, that develops low-emission solutions for transport. The RE85 fuel can reduce fossil CO2 emissions from motoring up to 80%, and when used with flex-fuel cars, efficiently promotes the introduction of bioenergy in the transport sector.

Flex-fuel cars become more common

Flex-fuel cars can be fuelled with regular petrol, but they can accept also ethanol up to 85%. These cars are becoming more and more common in Finland, and currently 200 different flex-fuel models are already available on the market.

VTT estimates that the total requirement of bioethanol for transport purposes in Finland will be 200-500 million litres per year in 2020, depending on the development of the national car fleet and the ethanol blend ratios.

Since 2007, St1 has been building a network of ethanol plants with the aim of producing up to 300 million litres of ethanol for transport use from waste and side streams in 2020. By then, this amount will already be sufficient for fuelling more than 200,000 flex-fuel cars on an annual basis.

Additional information

Juhani Laurikko
Principal Scientist
+358 20 722 5463

Nils-Olof Nylund
Research Professor
+358 20 722 5518