We are strongly committed to developing bioenergies as an energy source for applications in biofuels, biolubricants and bioplastics. In over 20 years of biofuel production, we have also invested in several ambitious R&D programs by forming partnerships with academic centers of excellence and acquiring equity interests in promising young companies. Our ambition is to promote industrial-scale production of this promising energy source.
Developing bioenergies to support the industry
Our industrial clients face strong environmental challenges, especially in the transportation and chemical sectors. In order to support them, we are working to develop biomass as an energy source. It constitutes the only renewable alternative to fossil resources for the production of liquid fuels (biodiesel, bioethanol, bio-jet fuel), lubricants and basic molecules for chemicals (solvents and polymers).
We have launched several ambitious research programs and formed innovative industrial partnerships in order to identify, test and industrialize the most promising biomass conversion pathways.
We are pioneers in developing biofuels
At Total, we have produced biofuels since the 1990s: primarily ETBE (ethyl tert-butyl ether), which can be blended into gasoline, and HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) for diesel at our Donges and La Mède refineries in France. As the operators of the largest service station network in Europe, we are the continent’s leading marketer of biofuels.
The La Mède project: Building France’s first biorefinery to meet shifting demand
As part of the transformation of the La Mède refinery near Marseille, we are planning to build France’s first world-class biorefinery. By 2017, it will produce 500,000 metric tons of HVO biodiesel per year thanks to a new technology that can use any kind of oil, including used cooking oil and residual oil.