Tried and tested

Test trials have proven that paraffinic fuels work in existing diesel engines in both light and heavy duty vehicles.

A large amount of data was collected which demonstrates that the use of paraffinic fuels has an immediate effect on reduced local emissions. The trials demonstrated the ease with which a switchover can be made from conventional diesel to paraffinic fuels, all the while maintaining the same level of vehicle performance. These tests covered a wide range of vehicles, engines and after-treatment systems, and collectively they demonstrated that paraffinic fuels can provide emissions reductions of 10% to 50% compared to conventional diesel. These figures remained stable for a range of engine and vehicle technologies, making them an attractive solution to local emissions and air quality challenges.

Over the past decade, Shell has conducted many field trials of Shell GTL Fuel in major cities around the world. These vehicle trials have tested the performance of Shell GTL Fuel over many months of real "on the road" conditions. These trials have cumulatively covered over 1 million kilometers – 25 times the circumference of the earth. These GTL trials demonstrated that local emissions benefits for both heavy- and light-duty vehicles mirrored the reductions seen in laboratory-based testing.

The Shell GTL Fuel Knowledge Guide provides a comprehensive account of Shell's extensive knowledge and experience, outlining the benefits of Shell GTL Fuel when used in conventional diesel engines. Collectively, the local emissions tests have shown that Shell GTL Fuel can provide significant percentage local emissions benefits compared to conventional diesel. As well as yielding local emissions benefits, Shell GTL Fuel is nontoxic, odourless, readily biodegradable and has a low hazard rating. These characteristics further enhance its credentials and make Shell GTL Fuel intrinsically safer to transport, handle and use than conventional diesel. In addition to these benefits, Shell GTL Fuel has been shown to give engine noise benefits in some situations, due to its high cetane number.


An example of an HVO trial includes the OPTIBIO Research Project, a trial of NExBTL reneable diesel (HVO) in buses in Greater Helsinki, Finland. This was a joint project between Neste, Helsinki Region Transport (HSL), Proventia and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The trial confirmed that NExBTL is a highly reliable fuel; it worked very well even in older buses, and showed excellent performance in cold weather.

The three year project (2007-2010) is one of the largest renewable diesel field trials to date. It involved around 300 buses and different biofuel blending levels (25-30% &

Reductions* with 100% NExBTL in Helsinki trial (approx) 
NOx 10%
PM 30%
CO 30%
HC 40%
PAH 50%+
CO2 (tailpipe) 5%

*compared to diesel
Source: VTT

Toyota and Shell have also run trials of neat GTL fuel in dedicated fleets in heavily-congested cities like London, Berlin and Shanghai. Emissions tests showed that the trial vehicles (buses and taxis) produced significantly lower emissions levels. A concrete example of these trials includes the deployment of a fleet ten Toyota Avensis cars in London in 2004.