Ethanol: an Introduction
Ethanol is already a well established bio-fuel. Industrial scale fermentation and distillation plants manufacture large quantities of ethanol to serve the transportation sector with which to blend with gasoline to create a range of ethanol-gasoline mixes.
Bioethanol can be made from virtually any starch or sugar rich biomass, but the favoured crops are high yielding varieties of sugar beet, corn, barley and wheat.
By blending ethanol with gasoline octane levels can be increased and emissions lowered. Most gasoline vehicles can accept 10% ethanol (E10) without modification, however, at the 85% ethanol mix (E85) and beyond, Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) are required.
Flexible Fuel Vehicles
Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) are being introduced that can operate over a range of fuel mixes. As legislation is passed in some states insisting on minimum gasoline-ethanol mix ratios for future vehicles the demand for more fuel flexible vehicles is only going to increase.