China plans nationwide ethanol use by 2020

Chinese President Xi Jin ping

Chinese President Xi Jin ping

China plans nationwide use of bioethanol gasoline in its road vehicles by 2020 to cut emissions and fossil fuel consumption. An advanced liquid biofuel system will be able to produce 50,000 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol a year by 2020.

Currently, some provinces in China have mandates for E10, a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.

"The plan to bioethanol was unveiled as the country is pushing the use of biofuel, which is renewable, applicable, tech-savvy and environmental-friendly". In 2016, China ranked third in terms of annual ethanol fuel consumption, at almost 2.6 million tonnes, while the United States used more than 40 million tonnes. "It is an ideal alternative to fossil fuel", a senior NEA official said. Biofuel manufacturers have since turned to sweet potatoes, sorghum and straw stalks. Guangxi in south China was the first to commercially produce ethanol from cassava instead of grain.

The plan would follow decisions by France and Britain which have announced plans to ban the manufacturing and sales of cars running on traditional fuels. The government is spending heavily to develop an electric auto industry and has raised sales taxes on vehicles with larger engines.

China is to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and raise the share of non-fossil energy use in total consumption to about 20 percent.

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