Racing cars

Fuel made from waste wine to power racing cars

TotalEnergies has said its new bioethanol fuel, produced from leftovers from the French wine industry, will be introduced for racing cars at next season’s FIA World Endurance Championship.

Named “Excellium Racing 100”, the drivers could see their cars powered by “renewable” fuel during the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2022.

The governing body of motorsport, the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA), has supported efforts to develop more sustainable sources of fuel and energy for racing cars, including in Formula 1.

“This fuel should allow an immediate reduction of at least 65% of the CO in racing cars2 emissions ”, declared TotalEnergies, official fuel supplier to the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Automobile Club of the West.

Made from leftover materials from winemaking, such as wine lees and grape pomace, the group said the production process involved “industrial fermentation, distillation and then dehydration.”

This base, he said, “is then mixed with ETBE (Ethyl Tertio Butyl Ether), itself a by-product made from ethanol, and with several performance additives.”

Jean Todt, President of the FIA, said: “Endurance racing, by its nature, has always been an excellent platform for research and development and it is an important step that the World Endurance Championship FIA switches to 100% sustainable fuel.

“The main objective of the FIA ​​is to implement sustainable energy sources in its portfolio of motorsport disciplines. “

Formula 1 has announced its intention to be “net zero carbon” by 2030.

Several research projects have investigated the possibility of using waste wine to create “renewable” fuel.

The concept also gained visibility in 2008, when it emerged that Prince Charles in the UK had converted his Aston Martin to run on fuel made from waste English wine and whey.

The remains of the wine world have also been used for other purposes, including to create “wine leather”.

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