Via indiatoday.intoday.in

Beijing, Sep 13 (PTI) China today announced that it would extend the use of bioethanol gasoline nationwide by 2020, days after it unveiled plans to ban petrol and diesel cars and boost electric vehicles in a bid to contain air pollution and restrict traffic congestion.

China, the worlds third-largest bioethanol producer, aims to build an advanced liquid biofuel system and put into operation a demonstration facility that will be able to produce 50,000 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol a year by 2020.

“The plan to bioethanol was unveiled as the country is pushing the use of biofuel, which is renewable, applicable, tech-savvy and environmental-friendly. It is an ideal alternative to fossil fuel,” the National Development and Reform Commission and National Energy Administration (NEA) said today.

Ethanol fuel, known as E10, contains 10 per cent of ethanol. It is commonly used worldwide since it is believed to cut carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions and help ease the energy supply bottleneck.

Ethanol can be produced both from sucrose (beet or sugarcane) and corn.

China launched corn-to-ethanol pilot programmes in 2004 as part of efforts to cut emissions and advance new energy.

The country banned the use of grain for ethanol production in 2007 to ensure sufficient food supply, and biofuel manufacturers have since turned to sweet potatoes, sorghum and straw stalks instead.

It later lifted the ban in 11 provinces including Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang provinces in the northeast, Henan and Hebei provinces in the north, Anhui, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces in the east, the central province of Hubei, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the southwest.

Guangxi is the first Chinese locality to commercially produce ethanol with cassava instead of grain.

The latest plan is also part of the effort to ease oversupply of aging corn.