Analytical Instrumentation

  • Should Fuel Have More Ethanol?

Should Fuel Have More Ethanol?

Aug 26 2019 Read 150 Times

In a bid to combat the looming climate change crisis, a group of British MPs is petitioning to increase ethanol content in UK fuels and promote the adoption of E10. According to the MPs the move is a "no brainer" and would slash transport carbon emissions across the country.

The petition was launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol, who claim that increasing ethanol content would be the equivalent of taking around 700,000 cars of British roads. They also maintain it would provide a £1 billion boost to the British biofuel industry and safeguard around 6000 jobs.

British MPs rally for E10 adoption

Marketed as a safe and reliable regular unleaded petrol, E10 is a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% petrol. The fuel contains more than double the current legal maximum of ethanol allowed in British fuels. For E10 advocates, making the switch to fuels with a higher ethanol content will play a pivotal role in helping the UK minimise carbon emissions and meet global climate change targets.

"For many reasons it is absolutely a no-brainer," says Nic Dakin MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol. "On the environmental front, it's a cleaner, greener fuel at a time when we're trying to address air pollution and tackle climate change."

Climate advocates urge UK government to make E10 a "top priority"

Dakin and his fellow MPs admit that while electric cars are ultimately the long-term solution to slashing transport emissions, E10 represents an important step forward for the UK. Dakin warns that in the face of Brexit the British government has lost sight of its environmental responsibilities and dropped the ball on minimising carbon emissions.

"Cars aren't going to all switch to battery power overnight and if they did there isn't the capacity in the National Grid to power all of our transportation," he says. "This must be a top priority for the government and we renew our call for a mandate to introduce E10 by 2020 at the latest."

The UK isn't the first country to petition for higher ethanol content in fuels, with France introducing E10 in 2009. Last year E10 won the lion's share of the market, accounting for 47% of all petrol grades sold in the country. E10 is also available in Germany, Belgium and Finland, with other countries such as China and India set to introduce the fuel soon. Brazil is another ethanol advocate, with the minimum ethanol content now set at a high 27%.

Supporting ethanol industry could boost British economy

From an economic perspective, introducing E10 to British motorists will play an important role in supporting the UK's bioethanol producers.

"The British bioethanol industry is in a state of collapse, and ministers cannot allow the fog of Brexit to distract them any longer from saving a £1bn industry that will not only make our cars cleaner and greener, but provide thousands of green jobs in the North and prove that the government is serious about championing the green economy," says Grant Pearson, a representative from British-based ethanol production company, Ensus.

While some environmentalists petition to increase ethanol content, others are rallying to minimise sulphur. For an introduction to the latest technologies being used to regulate SO2 emissions don't miss 'Analysis of Sulphur in Petroleum Products According to ASTM D4294 & ISO 8754 using Shimadzu’s EDX-7000.'

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