Nov 9, 2015
By Jim Lane
In Hungary, Clean Fuels Development Coalition Executive Director Douglas Durante said as a way for ethanol to find value beyond limitations of government imposed limits, both in the EU and the U.S., the focus should be on providing clean, low carbon octane to help meet health, climate, and efficiency goals.
In the wake of continuing revelations regarding the Volkswagen emissions problems, Durante said this should lead air quality officials around the world to look again at the often erroneous assumptions and calculations used in determining emissions. Further, a better understanding of the importance of looking at fuels and vehicles as an integrated system would tell a far more positive story than what many current, and outdated models would indicate.
“Despite the lies and the misinformation spread by the petroleum industry, ethanol is a superior fuel and additive to anything out of the oil barrel. Gasoline is a mix of hundreds of different chemicals and hydrocarbons, the worst of which are the toxic, often carcinogenic aromatics”, said Durante. “In the Unites States, EPA is actually required to reduce these harmful components and if we were allowed to splash blend additional volumes of ethanol we would be able to improve fuel quality and protect public health,” he said.
Durante also told the delegates at the F.O. Licht ethanol conference that despite the challenges facing the biofuels industry in regard to political and public support, solutions exist that can easily surmount the imaginary blend wall. “The auto industry continually recognizes the value of ethanol in reducing carbon emissions while providing the octane they need. Positive discussions among the ethanol, agriculture and auto industries as well as the Departments of Energy and Agriculture are focusing on blends of 25, 30 and even 40% in the next decade.”
He said hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in refueling infrastructure and the industry is working to provide consumers with choice by creating access to the market.
"With vehicles that can use ethanol, and the ability to distribute the fuel, the potential is nearly unlimited for both first and 2nd generation fuels. The opposition to these programs is all about lost market share to the petroluem industry which admittedly funds the opposition we see in all of our countries," said Durante. "Working together we can tell the real story and how biofuels provide a wealth of environmental, energy, and economic benefits."