World : In 2022, Hypercars will run on 100% renewable energy « made in » TotalEnergies !
Discussions around biofuel production for the WEC began after the virtual 2020 edition was completed in August. A working group was then set up. The initial project was to produce a racing fuel with a majority of its components derived from biomass. TotalEnergies' joint ambitions with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the 24 Hours of Le Mans organizer, were quickly revised upwards. The result was a 100% renewable fuel designed and produced in one year.
How TEAFS met the challenge
The 100% renewable EXCELLIUM RACING 100 fuel that will be used in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship was designed and manufactured by TotalEnergies Additives and Fuels Solutions (TEAFS) in less than a year.
The main technical challenge was to find the right formulation that would meet the requirements of endurance racing – where the engine is subjected to extreme operating conditions – and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 65%.
A concentrate of know-how made in TotalEnergies
In order to seek performance, the formulation base is made up of hydrocarbon produced from bioethanol, itself produced from vineyard residues (mainly of French origin). Compared to an oleaginous base (used for example to produce the biofuel at the La Mède biorefinery), an ethyl base is lighter and therefore better suited to use in competition. These molecules are also sufficiently available to supply all the competitors in the FIA WEC (including the 24 Hours of Le Mans) and the European Le Mans Series, i.e. nearly 1000 cubic meters of fuel per year.
For this 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the TEAFS teams had already developed the fuel that will be used during the events, "Excellium Endurance", which already contains 10% ethanol of renewable origin. EXCELLIUM RACING 100 has therefore benefited from this expertise, particularly in terms of additives. A concentrate of know-how made in TotalEnergies which has already been patented!
A first batch is to be delivered to the manufacturers in the next few weeks so that they can test it on their engine test benches. The first competition runs will take place in the spring of 2022.
« The WEC is one of the first FIA world championships to use 100% renewable fuel. This is a major step forward. The forthcoming introduction of this 100% renewable fuel completes the partnership between TotalEnergies and the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) in promoting new energies. In particular, TotalEnergies has designed, in partnership with the ACO and the H24 Racing team, the first mobile hydrogen refueling facility in a racing environment*. »
Romain Aubry, multi-energy technical manager within the Competition department
« The entire TEAFS team was mobilized on this project, in order to respond to the multiple aspects that it covers: development of course, production, logistics, regulatory compliance or marketing, the goal being to sell our new product internationally! »
Lisa Serve, special fuels development engineer within TEAFS
* Cette station permet le ravitaillement de manière sûre et fiable du prototype de course de la Mission H24, qui préfigure ce que seront les 24 heures du Mans 2024, avec une catégorie de course 100 % hydrogène lors de la célèbre épreuve sarthoise.