Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel is part of the “paraffinic fuels” group. Paraffinic fuels are clean, high quality fuels made from a wide variety of feedstocks, such as Biomass, Natural Gas, or waste Vegetable Oils (called BTL, GTL, and HVO respectively). They are synthetically manufactured and can be used as a drop-in fuel for diesel engines. Because the fuels are synthetic, the manufacturing process produces more consistent and uniform molecules compared to conventional crude oil refining.
Paraffinic fuels therefore have improved combustion properties inside standard diesel engines which help reduce emissions of air pollutants. They are also free of unwanted components such as sulphur, metals, and aromatics, making them non-toxic and less harmful to the environment. 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 those alternative fuels in legislation and handbooks.
Shell currently produces over 80 thousand barrels a day globally of GTL Fuel (enough to satisfy around 30% of the UK’s total diesel demand) which is traded on global oil markets, and is primarily used as a diesel blend component to improve the quality of current diesel fuels.
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