Although the price of petrol has come down in the last few days, a report published by APAC Biofuel Consultants today indicates that more and more motorists are moving towards ethanol-blended fuels.
The report shows that currently the biofuel sector is supplying roughly 3000 barrels per day to the Australian transport fuel supply, just over half the 2010 target of 350 million litres per year set by the previous government.
“The number of retail outlets selling ethanol blend has increased three-fold over the past two years, concentrating in Queensland and New South Wales and to a lesser extent in South Australia and Victoria,” APAC Consultants joint chief executive officer Mike Cochran said.
Over the past 12 months, there has been a 300 per cent rise in ethanol-blended petrol sales. Even so, we must question if this increase is due to the rising cost of petrol, or the questionable environmental benefits.
“Price would be a contributor but I think people are interested in being more environmental about their fuels and also promoting an alternative source of fuel” Mr Cochran said.
E10 fuel is a 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent petrol mixture, currently on sale for roughly two cents less than standard petrol.
The benefits of using E10 fuel have been under scrutiny for some time, given the CO2 produced during the development cycle as well as the impact on food supplies. More on that here.
Ethanol-blended petrol is safe for most naturally-aspirated vehicles manufactured after 1985, a full list of compatible vehicles can be found here.