Reduced emissions of regulated pollutants: Nitrogen Oxide (Nox), Particulate Matter (PM), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and unburnt hydrocarbons (HC’s)
Drop in fuel – can be used as direct replacement for conventional diesel fuels without the need for modifications to engines or infrastructure
Can reduce the noise levels in some engines thanks to more uniform combustion
Better starting performance in cold conditions due to higher cetane number
Better safety, handling and storage characteristics due to a higher flash point
Shell is a pioneer of Gas-To-Liquids (GTL) technology which manufactures hydrocarbon products from natural gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process. This process breaks down gas molecules and reassembles them into larger uniform molecules in a carefully controlled manner. One of the products is Shell GTL Fuel and Shell GTL Off Road Fuel, an alternative fuel that is cleaner-burning compared to standard diesel. Because this manufacturing process produces more consistent and uniform molecules as compared to conventional crude oil refining, GTL Fuel has improved combustion properties inside standard diesel engines and so helps reduce emissions of air pollutants. It is also free of unwanted components such as sulphur, metals, and aromatics, making it non-toxic and therefore less harmful to the environment.
As the world transitions to lower emission mobility, Shell and Certas Energy believes that GTL Fuel will be part of the fuel mix that will be needed to power the future, alongside e-mobility, biofuels, LNG, hydrogen, CNG, LPG, diesel, and gasoline.
Shell GTL Fuel can be used in existing heavy-duty and light-duty diesel engines without the need for engine modifications, new infrastructure or vehicle investment. It is particularly well positioned to reduce emissions from heavy-duty engines where the fuel’s benefits are largest compared to conventional diesel. GTL Fuel is therefore suitable in the transport sector, for example city utility vehicles, public transport, rail, and inland and offshore shipping. It is also equally suitable in construction machinery and power generation equipment.
It is estimated that there is currently sufficient global supply of GTL fuels to meet around 30% of the UK’s entire national diesel demand, or the total diesel demand of any of the Scandinavian countries.
GTL Fuel is part of the family of fuels called “paraffinic fuels”. The European Standardisation body CEN published the final specification for paraffinic fuels, EN-15940, in mid-2016, paving the way for legislators and manufacturers to specifically refer to these alternative fuels in legislation and handbooks.