refining life

Bioethanol basics

Bioethanol is an alternative to fossil fuels. It can be used as a blend in regular gasoline, as means of lowering the CO2 emissions from the transport sector.

There are several different kinds of bioethanol products:

  • ED95: Gasoline with a 95 % bioethanol blend and 5 % additives – used in busses and trucks with modified diesel engines.

  • E85: Gasoline with an 85 % bioethanol blend – used in cars with Flexi fuel engines.

  • E10: Gasoline with a 15 % bioethanol blend – used in regular cars.

  • Bioethanol: for biochemical products.   

Bioethanol is produced from biomass. Through a fermenting process, the starch found in biomass is transformed into bioethanol.

Biomass is organic material made from plant photosynthesis with the sun as energy source.

I Brazil, the production of bioethanol is based on sugar cane, as opposed to the US, where it is based on maize, and Europe where it is based on corn, maize and sugar beets.

Bioethanol is a clean-burning fuel for cars. All gasoline in Denmark has since 2010 contained a blend of 5 % bioethanol, and regular cars can easily drive on a 15 % blend.

Bioethanol has a higher octane number than gasoline and burns slower, which means that the engine gets a higher efficiency than when burning gasoline. However, bioethanol has a somewhat lower energy value, which means that consumption in volume is a bit higher than when using gasoline.

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