China plans nationwide ethanol use by 2020

China plans to expand use of ethanol in gasoline nationwide by 2020 to curb smog and fossil fuel demand, the government said Wednesday, joining United States, Brazil and other nations that use blended fuel.

The announcement adds to a series of initiatives to clean up smog-choked Chinese cities and control surging demand for imported oil. The government is spending heavily to develop an electric car industry and has raised sales taxes on vehicles with larger engines.

Plans call for China to develop a demonstration facility by 2020 that can make 50,000 tons of ethanol a year from cellulose, according to the Cabinet's National Energy Administration. It said that would expand to commercial scale by 2025.

"It is an ideal alternative to fossil fuel," said an unidentified NEA official quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency.

China is the world's biggest energy consumer and auto market. It started producing ethanol from corn in 2004 but banned use of food crops in 2007, prompting suppliers to switch to straw stalks and other materials. About one-fifth of gasoline produced in China has added ethanol, according to Xinhua.

Regulators later eased the ban on use of food crops in some areas. Xinhua said the latest plan is intended in part to use up aging stockpiles of corn.

Other governments including Brazil and the United States require gasoline to contain from 10 percent to as much as 85 percent ethanol to curb emissions and reduce petroleum demand.

The NEA gave no indication what level of ethanol would be required, but Xinhua said it would be 10 percent.

On Saturday, a deputy industry minister said Beijing is developing a timetable to phase out production and sales of traditional fuel cars. France and Britain announced similar plans in July.

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Sep 14, 2017
The production cost of ethanol as a fuel has (thankfully) been shown to be too high to be worthwhile in the US. It is a shame that food supplies are being wasted in this way and when consumed in what ever way will still produce the CO2 that is making our climate overheated by absorption and reflection of solar rays. Electric cars are fine PROVIDED they are powered from electricity that is generated from solar, geothermal, wind or other forms of naturally available energy without adding to the amount of non-polluting but still damaging CO2. And to wase stocks of food when there is famine is ethically criminal.

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