Report calls for more bioethanol blending

Introducing E20 across the EU would require a trebling of 2017’s production volumes, according to the report

"Filling up with unleaded fuel" by freefotouk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
"Filling up with unleaded fuel" by freefotouk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

As the UK continues to drag its feet on the proposed introduction of a 10% blend of bioethanol (E10) with fossil fuel-derived petrol, a new report has backed introducing a 20% blend (E20). 

The report, published yesterday, was written by consultancy E4tech for pro-bioethanol trade association ePure. 

Two main scenarios are considered in the report, one with a mix of E10 and E20 and another "maximum-demand" scenario with 100% E20 supply across the EU.

The report finds "no barrier" to EU countries introducing "E10 today and  E20 tomorrow as a proven climate solution". It also states E20 blends can decrease CO2 and NOx, PM and HC emissions. 

However, under the maximum-demand scenario bioethanol production would have to "almost treble", increasing by 11.5 billion litres compared with 2017’s supply volumes.

The report also finds that if all the EU’s bioethanol was made from crops it would not break the RED II crop cap, which was approved last year. A high-demand scenario would only need 3.1% of the cap’s capacity, according to the report.

Nine countries across the EU already use E10 petrol, which works in today’s cars and infrastructure, but has been said to damage older vehicles. Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania are in the process of adopting E10 next year, according to the report.

The UK currently uses a 5% blend (E5), but plans to introduce E10 have stalled.

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