SKAERBAEK, Denmark, July 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Inbicon has revealed a frugal new customer for the cellulosic ethanol made from straw at its Inbicon Biomass Refinery in Kalundborg. The biofuel powered the winning car in the Urban Concepts class of the 2011 Shell Eco-marathon in Europe, setting a new record at 1,197 miles per gallon (509 km/l), adjusted for energy equivalence with gasoline.
"The Roadrunners team from the Technical University of Denmark designed, built, tuned, tested, and drove the Dynamo to victory over all 35 European teams competing. And they also beat North America and Asia's winning mileage," says Christian Morgen, Inbicon manager of international marketing. "Since they use only a liter at a time, I don't believe there's any danger of depriving Danish retail customers of our eco-friendly fuel."
The New Ethanol, as Inbicon calls its made-from-straw biofuel, has been produced by the Kalundborg plant since late 2009. But this was its first performance with the Danish university team.
Each year Jesper Schramm, a DTU associate professor, begins a course in combustion engineering whose five-day grand finale is May's racing in the Shell Eco-marathon. Six out of the last seven years, his students have won Grand Prize for energy efficiency in one of the two main categories. Urban Concept cars, with minor safety modifications, could actually operate on city streets, whereas drivers lie down in Prototype cars.
Professor Schramm's team used a 50cc 4-stroke Yamaha moped engine, whose higher compression takes advantage of the fuel's higher octane. And they use wind-tunnel testing to sculpt the body for improved aerodynamic performance. The Dynamo ran 28% farther than its closest competitor.
Over 3,000 students on 187 teams from 27 countries took part at the EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany. For the DTU Roadrunners, what they experience and achieve will help launch some graduates into careers in automotive design and engineering, according to Professor Schramm.
The Inbicon Biomass Refinery at Kalundborg, says Morgen, is the company's model for a commercial-scale launch of a new green-energy industry in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Inbicon Biomass Refineries with be integrated with other technologies to efficiently convert corn stalks, wheat straw, and other biomass into The New Ethanol, green electricity, and higher-value green chemistry products.
Inbicon is a subsidiary of DONG Energy, a leading Northern European energy company.