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Bioethanol Trumps Biodiesel Say Europe’s Producers

Posted by Lindy on July 6, 2010

6th July 2010

Cheaper, local ingredients make bioethanol more profitable, and sustainable, than far more widely produced biodiesel in Europe, even though it adds to a surplus of conventional petrol while diesel remains more in demand.

Biodiesel has to be made from vegetable oils, which have to be mostly imported and are far more expensive than locally grown cereals, the main raw material for bioethanol, which can be blended with petrol. Reuters data show that a tonne of biodiesel costs 803 euros to refine in Germany — using palm oil at 715 euros/tonne — but will sell at 721 euros. Not much profit there!

Bioethinol:  In Spanish ports, a tonne of local wheat costs 150 euros and can be used to make 387 litres of ethanol, so grain costing 388 euros will make one cubic meter. But  it sells 470 euros/m3. Now does not that more sense? As a result, several large European biofuel manufacturers see bioethanol as a better long-term business.

Producers in some countries hoped for a near-term boost to demand for bioethanol by increasing the percentage in petrol to 10%. France and Poland have already introduced E10, and Germany is likely to follow suit in late 2010 or 2011, although the government has yet to set a date.

“E10 will probably become a standard in coming years and its introduction in a large consuming country like Germany would certainly be an advantage to other countries which wish to follow.” .


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