Bio fuel from wine residue powers Scania Interlink bus

French transport operator Citram Aquitaine is running its Scania Interlink buses on the bioethanol-based fuel ED95, which is made from the residue produced during the wine-making process.

Since bioethanol can be used as fuel for the new Scania Interlink LD bus, French customers are discovering the advantages of being located in one of the world’s biggest wine producing nations. Transport operator Citram Aquitaine is now running its buses on the bioethanol-based fuel ED95.

Bioethanol is produced from pomace, a solid residue produced during the grape-pressing process, which can also be used to produce brandy.

The cities Bordeaux and Blaye are connected by the bus line 201 which is operated by Citram Aquitaine. While it has provided a passenger transport service since 1921, in other respects, the operator is very much ahead of the times, having decided to test the Scania Interlink using bioethanol produced by Raisinor France Alcools.

Nicolas Raud, Director of Citram Aquitaine, says: “The idea of a renewable form of energy that is produced locally immediately sparked our interest. So we expressed our interest in participating in this test to determine the effectiveness and viability of bioethanol in regular operations.”

Citram Aquitaine is eliminating waste while also supporting local industry. The potential environmental benefits are evident: compared with diesel, bioethanol can reduce CO2 emissions by 90 percent, NOx by half and particulate matter by 70 percent.

Bioethanol is also the world’s most readily available alternative fuel. Raisinor France Alcools has therefore teamed up with other wineries in the area to form a cooperative called UCVA (Union Coopératives Vinicoles d’Aquitaine). On UCVA’s site in Coutras, 100,000 tonnes of pomace are already processed every year “with a production potential that can fuel 1,000 vehicles locally,” says Jérôme Budua, Director of Raisinor France Alcools.

After previously having tested Scania gas buses, Raud is convinced that bioethanol will be even more suitable for his business because it is so readily available locally.