This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 12, 2002

BP Brings Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Education, Solar Power, and Low-Sulfur Gasoline to Colorado

BP announced on June 10th that it plans to invest $125,000 in a partnership with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop education and public awareness programs in Colorado that focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The company has already constructed 16 of its "BP Connect" gas stations in the state. The new gas stations incorporate thin-film solar power modules in their canopies, allowing the stations to draw on solar energy for a portion of their power needs.

BP also announced that it is starting to deliver low-sulfur gasoline to cities along Colorado's Front Range as part of the company's global Clean Cities Initiative. The company's lower-sulfur Amoco Ultimate blend contains 85 percent less sulfur than previous Ultimate blends. BP has introduced cleaner fuels in more than 110 cities worldwide, including lower-sulfur premium gasoline in more than 40 U.S. cities. Within the next three years, 50 percent of BP's global fuel sales will be cleaner fuels, including new zero-sulfur fuels. See the BP press release.

Since zero-sulfur fuels are the likely near-term fuels for fuel cell vehicles, eventually to be replaced by hydrogen, it's somewhat ironic that hydrogen is necessary for the production of low-sulfur fuels. Praxair, Inc. announced in May that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with BP to provide a long-term hydrogen supply to BP's Texas City Refinery. BP will use the hydrogen as a feedstock in the production of very low-sulfur gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. Anticipating the growing requirements of BP and other hydrogen customers, Praxair plans to add about 300 million cubic feet per day of hydrogen capacity to its 300-mile Gulf Coast pipeline system. See the Praxair press release.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University think they have a better approach to making low-sulfur fuels: adsorbing the sulfur onto the surface of a metal. Unlike the current hydrogen process, the Penn State approach does not require high temperatures or pressures. See the Penn State press release.