Main content | back to top
Biofuels and alternative transport fuels
The number of cars on the road is expected to rise to around 2 billion by 2050, with the amount of freight carried by trucks doubling. Shell believes low-carbon biofuels, together with gains in energy efficiency, are among the quickest and most practical ways to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport in the next 20 years.
Biofuels are produced from biomass, such as plants, and can be used in transport fuel. We are already the world’s largest distributor of biofuels. Now we are building our capacity in today’s biofuels and working to make them more sustainable.
The CO2 performance of current biofuels depends on how they are produced. Ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane, for example, produces around 70% lower CO2 emissions, from production to use, than petrol. Today’s most widespread biofuel, ethanol, is commonly made from starchy or sugary plants.
Fuels for the future
Shell was one of the first companies to invest in developing advanced biofuels, using crop waste or inedible plants and new conversion processes. These can potentially produce more efficient, low-carbon biofuels for blending at higher concentrations with petrol and diesel. Our biofuels research teams work with leading biotechnology companies and academic institutions.
Hydrogen is likely to play a role in transport in decades to come but continues to face challenges to achieving commercial scale. We are involved in research and have invested in a number of filling stations around the world.