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The Race to Make Motorsport Sustainable: Agricultural Waste Used as Fuel

3 min

Sebastien Loeb (FRA) of Bahrain Raid Xtreme is seen at the start line of stage 04 of Rally Dakar 2022 from Al Qaisumah to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on January 05, 2022
After rally cars powered by agricultural waste claimed second and fourth place in Dakar 2022, saving 28 tonnes of CO2 in the process, Quadrant Transport highlights how sustainability in motorsport is becoming mainstream. 

Motorsport is notoriously competitive and the race is on to make the most sustainable cars on the podiums across the industry.

Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) was the first major motorsport team to compete with a new generation of advanced sustainable fuels. Claiming second place was the Prodrive Hunter driven by nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb and Fabian Lurquin, battling 12 stages of dunes, cliffs and canyons in the Saudi Arabian desert to claim the position.

Two further vehicles competed as part of the team, also powered by sustainable fuel, finishing in fourth and 54th position, respectively.  

Coryton behind the sustainable fuel source

Using a bespoke fuel, created by global specialists Coryton, the vehicle also marked a milestone for sustainable motoring. Having reduced CO2 emissions from the three vehicles by up to 80% during the race.

 The cars ran on a second-generation biofuel, produced by the catalytic transformation of bioethanol derived from agricultural waste, combined with efuels created using CO2 captured directly from the atmosphere. 

This bespoke blend could be used as a direct replacement for unleaded petrol in almost any vehicle. It’s one of 4,000 unique blends that Coryton produces each year in the company’s quest for a greener future.  

While it is essential to decarbonise the Transport sector, blended sustainable fuel plugs the gap between the current emissions and the end goal of zero-emission vehicles. 

Net-zero is essential but sustainable fuels

Andrew Willson, CEO at Coryton, said: “This phenomenal result is proof of what can be achieved with sustainable fuels when the conditions don’t yet support electrification. 

Adding to this, Andrew explained: “Of course, the move towards electric transport is one we fully support but the world needs time to get a robust infrastructure in place. In the meantime, millions of internal combustion engines in cars, heavy goods and aviation vehicles are still hard at work using emission-heavy fuels. 

There are more sustainable solutions we could be scaling up the production of right now, such as biofuels, that could seamlessly integrate with our current forecourts and vehicles while making a massive difference to the climate issues we face

Arthur Shaw, Prodrive’s Chief Engineer for Engines, added: “When we designed the fuel the brief was it had to use genuinely sustainable feedstocks, but just as important was that its performance was comparable to our old racing fossil fuel, which it’s proven to be.” 

“As part of a blend of technologies, sustainable fuel genuinely is part of the future and can give us a very practical solution to the problem of CO2. This has been a real-life demonstration of how motorsport can be more sustainable but it also allows motorsport to demonstrate that there are solutions for the wider community using this technology too.”