French company Global Bioenergies has announced a two-year collaboration agreement with German car-maker Audi to develop isobutene-derived isooctane, a high performance biofuel for gasoline engines.

The agreement will also see the possibility of Audi acquiring stake in Global Bioenergies corresponding to less than 2% of its capital.

Global Bioenergies produces bio-isobutene, which as multiple applications including its transformation into isooctane, a 100% drop-in fuel that can be used in any blending ratio with all standard fuels for gasoline motors.

Unlike alcohol-based biofuels such as ethanol or isobutanol, bio-isobutene does not present the drawbacks such as limited blending ratios and lower mileage per liter.

Three parameters including the quality of the fuel to ensure optimal compatibility with its engines; the environmental footprint in particular regarding CO2 emissions, and the requirement to use feedstock not in competition with eatable resources, are key to Audi to push for the development of new biofuels.

Global Bioenergies head of business development Thomas Buhl said the company recently announced the start of its pre-commercial pilot phase at the Fraunhofer CBP in Leuna allowing obtaining high-purity isobutene which can be used for different applications.

"One crucial point of our collaboration with Audi will consist in supplying them with isooctane derived from our isobutene to be produced at that pilot. Furthermore, the collaboration with Audi will enable us to emphasize even more the usage of sustainable feedstock," added Buhl.