With the exception of biodiesel, bioethanol is at the moment the only renewable energy source that is being used directly in the field of fuels. As an additive for gasoline bioethanol substantially helps save fossil fuels.
The preconditions for the use of bioethanol in combustion engines have improved significantly over the past couple of years. Bioethanol was particularly interesting because as opposed to fossil mineral oil there were no extra taxes imposed on it. However, on August 1st 2006 taxes* on bioethanol and biodiesel were introduced and the tax rates will be increasing steadily until 2012.
In spite of increasing tax rates, bioethanol remains attractive as an additive for motor fuel because of the German Biofuel Quota Act which came into effect on January 1st, 2007 and stipulates the admixture of bioethanol and biodiesel with traditional fuels.
As mentioned before bioethanol as a gasoline additive is one of the most important basic substances for the use of renewable energies. By using it the CO and CO2 emissions can be reduced further and agricultural surpluses such as surplus productions of wheat can be used sensibly. Another potential use of bioethanol is the production of ETBE (ethyl-tert-butyl ether) which can be blended with gasoline for the improvement of the anti-knock properties instead of using the carcinogenic MTBE (methyl-tert-butyl ether) which is produced from crude oil. The addition of 5% bioethanol in motor fuels which is already prevalent in Germany does not need special labelling; neither does it require a refitting of the vehicle or its own gas station network.
Besides saving resources and protecting the environment it is our goal to make new production capacities available in Germany and to improve its position on the international market by planning and realising bioethanol plants.
* Energy Tax Act (Energiesteuergesetz)