Full coverage of ethanol gasoline by 2020?

Issuing time:2017-12-28 11:33

"Our country once introduced ethanol gasoline at the beginning of this century, but on the whole it was not very successful. I hope it will work out better this time." Jia Xinguang, executive director of the China Automobile Dealers Association, said to the China Economic Weekly reporter after the country decided to promote fuel ethanol again.

On September 13, 15 departments including the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration jointly issued the "Implementation Plan on Expanding the Production of biofuel ethanol and Promoting the Use of Automotive ethanol Gasoline" (hereinafter referred to as the "Plan"). The "Plan" proposes that by 2020, the use of automotive ethanol gasoline will be promoted nationwide, basically achieving full coverage, and the "bio-energy represented by biofuel ethanol" will be raised to the status of "national strategic emerging industry", pointing out that "the promotion and use of automotive ethanol gasoline is a national strategic initiative, but also a complex system project."

"Competing with food for land and people for food" has always been the focus of controversy in the international development of fuel ethanol, "China is still using corn as the main raw material for ethanol production, and China's food security situation is still far from the level of food waste, hope to further develop non-food crop production of cellulosic ethanol, such as straw manufacturing." Jia Xinguang said.

Regarding the relationship between food security and fuel ethanol, the "Program" issued this time clearly states that: moderate development of grain fuel ethanol, scientific and reasonable grasp of the total amount of grain fuel ethanol, vigorously develop cellulosic fuel ethanol and other advanced biological liquid fuels, to meet the continuous growth of market demand, and strive to achieve large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol by 2025. "So far, cellulosic ethanol, which is represented by straw, has no cost advantage over corn ethanol." Zhang Guogang, deputy manager of the business development department of State Investment Biotechnology Co., LTD., told China Economic Weekly that corn-based ethanol costs about 2,000 yuan per ton less than cellulosic ethanol produced from straw.

At present, a total of 11 provinces in China use ethanol gasoline. Among them, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Henan, Anhui and Guangxi six provinces are "fully closed" promotion, in principle, all gas stations in the six provinces provide ethanol gasoline, not mixed with ordinary gasoline; The five provinces of Jiangsu, Hubei, Hebei, Shandong and Guangdong are "semi-closed" promotion, with gas stations in some areas offering both regular gasoline and ethanol gasoline. An industry insider told China Economic Weekly: "Car owners in the fully closed area have a good experience of ethanol gasoline, but in the mixed supply area, most car owners still believe in ordinary gasoline, and ethanol gasoline refueling guns are ignored."

>> Full promotion of ethanol gasoline is in order to 270 million tons of corn inventory?

Fuel ethanol refers to the ethanol obtained from biological materials through biological fermentation and other ways that can be used as fuel. After denatured fuel ethanol is mixed with gasoline in a certain proportion, it can be made into automotive ethanol gasoline.

According to statistics, up to now, there have been more than 40 countries and regions to promote biofuel ethanol and automotive ethanol gasoline, the world's top two biofuel ethanol producers are the United States and Brazil, the annual output of 44.22 million tons and 21.18 million tons, although China has become the third largest country, but the annual output of only 2.6 million tons, accounting for less than 4% of global production.

China's promotion of ethanol gasoline began in the early 2000s. Jia Xinguang told the "China Economic Weekly" reporter said that in 2002, China began to convert corn into fuel ethanol this technology industrialization, commonly known as "grain to oil", "2004 to 2006 that three years of domestic grain harvest, just when everyone thought that fuel ethanol development will be in full swing, such projects were stopped in 2006." According to public information, in 2002, four enterprises were approved as the first batch of national fuel ethanol industry pilot bases, and since then, with the promotion of ethanol gasoline in some provinces and cities, fuel ethanol production increased from 70,000 tons in 2003 to 1 million tons in 2006, the stock of stale grain plunged, at the same time, corn, wheat prices are also "rising ship". In December 2006, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance issued an urgent notice, requiring all localities to no longer illegally build biofuel ethanol projects in the name of corn processing, blindly expand corn processing capacity, and not to blindly develop corn processing ethanol capabilities in the name of fuel ethanol projects.

It is understood that as of September 2016, China's corn stock was 270 million tons, serious overstorage, and domestic consumption and imports of corn are decreasing. "The reason for developing ethanol gasoline this time is the same as the last time, which is to reduce corn stocks," Jia said.

Will this promotion also end with the exhaustion of this batch of excess storage? Zhang Guogang told the "China Economic Weekly" reporter that increasing the proportion of cellulosic ethanol with straw as raw materials is an important part of the "plan", "once it can really achieve the large-scale mass production of cellulosic ethanol in accordance with the goal before 2025 and the final marketization, fuel ethanol does not need to consume food, can get rid of the dilemma of 'competing with food' and 'competing with people'."

Although the corn biofuel ethanol project stopped approving new projects in December 2006, some provinces and cities have been using ethanol gasoline since then. In Jiangsu Province, Xuzhou, Lianyungang, Huaian, Yancheng, Suqian "five cities in northern Jiangsu" as an example, since January 1, 2006, ethanol gasoline has been used for nearly 12 years.

>> Ethanol gasoline is really poor power, high fuel consumption?

"I often feel 'weak' when I drive with ethanol gasoline, which is not as powerful as regular gasoline." Mr. Gong, a car owner in Jiangsu province, told China Economic Weekly that he would choose regular gasoline most of the time. "Although the price is the same, I will only consider using ethanol gasoline when there is a particularly long line for regular gasoline." In addition to "no strength", another problem generally reflected by the owner is that the fuel consumption is large, "not banned". Many owners in the promotion provinces say that the same volume of ethanol gasoline drives significantly fewer miles than ordinary gasoline.

"China Economic Weekly" reporter learned that theoretically, the calorific value of gasoline is 43.03 megajoules/kg, and the calorific value of ethanol is 26 megajoules/kg, and the "power" is only equivalent to 60% of ordinary gasoline. At present, China is promoting 90% gasoline mixed with 10% fuel ethanol labeled E10 ethanol gasoline, its caloric value is theoretically 3.8% different than ordinary gasoline, that is to say, if a box of ordinary gasoline can run 500 kilometers, adding E10 ethanol gasoline can only run 480 kilometers.

But some experts dispute the algorithm. Wu Ye, deputy dean of Tsinghua University's School of Environment, told China Economic Weekly that the above algorithm is only a theoretical estimate and misses three key factors: First, fuel ethanol itself is an oxygen-containing additive that helps gasoline burn more fully; Secondly, ordinary gasoline often adds an additive called MTBE(methyl tert-butyl ether), which means that ordinary gasoline is not pure gasoline with the majority of the content, which balances out the caloric value loss caused by the addition of fuel ethanol. In addition, fuel ethanol can improve the octane number of gasoline, which has a positive significance to improve the power economic performance of gasoline.

"Based on our cutting-edge experimental results, the fuel consumption and energy consumption of vehicles using ethanol gasoline are basically the same as that of ordinary gasoline containing MTBE," Wu Ye said.

Another concern for car owners is whether the acetic acid produced by burning ethanol will damage vehicle components. Zhang Guogang told reporters that according to his experience, ethanol gasoline damage to the machinery is "almost" non-existent. "For cars that are more than four or five years old, we recommend a wash before the last use of ethanol gasoline, but not for new cars."

>> Ethanol gasoline or more environmentally friendly, PM2.5 concentration can be reduced by 0.4 micrograms/cubic meter

It has been pointed out that with the 2015 Beijing motor vehicle ownership of 5 million, if all replaced with ethanol gasoline, the emissions equivalent to only 3 million vehicles, the effect has been close to the implementation of "odd and even". "That's an exaggeration." Jia Xinguang told reporters that at present, the domestic fuel labeled E10 (containing 10% fuel ethanol) has little effect on the improvement of the atmospheric environment. However, if the future use of E100(most of the fuel ethanol) fuel, it can reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 30%.

Automobile exhaust gas emissions are roughly divided into two categories, one is not directly cause air pollution, but will cause the "greenhouse effect" of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide; The other is the carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons that directly cause air pollution, and of course, PM10 and PM2.5 that are of great concern to the Chinese people.

The one thing that can reduce harmful gases and greenhouse gas emissions is undoubtedly pure alcohol, also known as "E100", which is the premium target of ethanol gasoline.

Wu Ye has done a number of experiments on the environmental impact of fuel ethanol, he said that the United States, as the world's largest biofuel ethanol production and consumer, based on a number of life-cycle scientific research results show that corn-based ethanol instead of gasoline can produce about 20% to 40% of the greenhouse gas emission reduction. Replacing gasoline with cellulosic ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 70 to 80 percent. In terms of air pollutants, compared with ordinary gasoline without MTBE, the use of ethanol gasoline can significantly reduce exhaust pipe carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and primary PM2.5 emissions. Compared with ordinary gasoline with MTBE added, the use of ethanol gasoline can still reduce the number of particles and mass emissions of primary PM2.5 at the same time, and carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions remain basically unchanged. Although nitrogen oxide emissions have increased, but the extent of this increase is also "different from car to car", the emissions of old cars using country 1, country 2 standards will be higher, the car using country 4 and country 5 standards is almost no increase, which is related to the more accurate adjustment of the post-processing control itself.

Regarding the PM2.5 concentration in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Wu Ye said, "According to our existing experiments and air quality simulation results, promoting the use of E10 ethanol gasoline has a positive improvement effect on reducing the atmospheric PM2.5 concentration in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. In winter, the average PM2.5 concentration in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region can be reduced by 0.1-0.2 micrograms/cubic meter, and the average PM2.5 concentration in the urban area of Beijing can be reduced by more than 0.4 micrograms/cubic meter."

China Automotive Engineering Society consultant Binggang told reporters, although he did not grasp the exact emission reduction figures, but he does not recognize the industry spread of approaching "odd-even" emission reduction effect. "According to China's national conditions, the effect of emission reduction will not be particularly significant if automakers do not make any adjustments to the engine."

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