Shell expresses a commitment to help meet the energy challenge by providing more secure and responsible energy. Shell is developing more environmentally friendly fossil fuel technologies like gas to liquids (GTL), which turns natural gas into cleaner-burning fuels. While they don't receive the same financial support, Shell also supports several renewable energies. Shell was the first energy company to build demonstration hydrogen filling stations in Asia, Europe, and the United States, and is one of the world's leading distributors of biofuels. However, Shell has not yet provided the financial investment needed for hydrogen expansion, and the hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels.
In 2006, Shell sold over 3.5 billion liters of biofuels, mainly in the United States and Brazil, enough to avoid over 3.5 million tons of CO2 production. Shell believes that "first generation" biofuels are unreliable, requiring too much acreage to be planted to feedstocks, thus putting strain on the environment and food supply. Shell has therefore invested in "second generation" biofuels, such as the production of etha-nol from straw rather than corn. Shell claims this second-generation biofuel could cut well-to-wheel CO2 production by 90 percent, compared with conventional gasoline. In early 2007, Iogen, acquired by Shell in 2002, was one of six companies selected to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Energy's cel-lulosic ethanol program.
Shell invested in CHOREN Industries to create the first demonstration-scale biomass-to-liquids (BTL) plant, scheduled to come online in late 2007. This process relies on the use of a woody feedstock, gasifies it, and then uses the Shell Middle Distillates Synthesis (SMDS) process to convert the gas into a high-quality fuel identical to GTL that can be blended with diesel fuel. If used at 100 percent concentration, it could also cut well-to-wheels CO2 production by 90 percent compared with conventional diesel. Shell also has small investments in solar and wind power. Currently, their financial impact on Shell is very small, and they are not seen as offering substantial room for growth.
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