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China plans nationwide use of ethanol fuel by 2020

China is planning to boost ethanol gasoline use  by 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and National Energy Administration (NEA) said, on Wednesday.

This is for the first time that the government has set a timeline for using biofuel containing at least 10 percent corn ethanol to reduce use of fossil fuel in China- the world’s largest car market.

All automobiles would be required to use ethanol gasoline within the timeline. “The plan has been prepared as the nation is promoting the use of biofuel, which is renewable, applicable,  environmental-friendly and tech-savvy. It is an ideal alternative to fossil fuel,” according to an unnamed official from the National Energy Administration.

The plan to boost ethanol comes close on the heels of government’s announcement of planning a ban on the production and sale of cars using fossil fuels.

Regular use of ethanol can reduce fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions, and help in containing air pollution.

Ethanol is a byproduct of corn, hence using corn will help China to control excess grain output. “It is a way to regulate and control grains supply.  In case of grain oversupply it can be converted to ethanol. If there is no enough supply of corn, other farm produce can be substituted to produce ethanol, according to Le Youhua, deputy director of China International Engineering Consultation Company. “It is a good way to use oversupply of grain.

Presently, China is promoting use of ethanol in 11 pilot zones. In a bid to promote the plan, prices for ethanol and gas will be the same, according to National Development and Reform Commission of Liaoning Province.

Analysts point out that the push for ethanol biofuel will boost industrial demand for corn and improve the air quality.

“The ethanol fuel can burn completely as it contains oxygen. So, I think it is a sort of environmental friendly renewable-based fuel,” noted Qiao Yingbin, former director of Technology and Development department at SINOPEC.

China began to conduct biofuel test in 2001 with 11 provinces participating so far. Twenty percent of the country’s gasoline consumption is biofuel. (cgtn)

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