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needs mandatory blending policies for blending fuels
May 17, 2012
Government should strengthen its involvement in the growth of the
ethanol industry by promoting the use of green fuels, and help save
money on costly fuel imports.
To achieve this,
Government could start by imposing laws that compel all fuel dealers
to blend locally produced ethanol with petrol, said Ms Lillian Muungani,
spokesperson for Green Fuels, the biggest ethanol producing firm
south of the Sahara.
of a viable bio-fuel industry in Zimbabwe could result in the country
being liquid fuel sufficient in eight years while exporting the
balance to allow for foreign currency savings and generation,"
ethanol industry translates to the growth of rural agriculture,
as cane farmers supply feedstock to the mills; jobs are created
and preserved, as artisans find employment at the plant; imports
are curbed, effectively ensuring that cash from fuel sales is kept
within the local economy."
said Government should ensure that local fuel prices were stabilised
through addressing supply side constraints, which could be heavily
augmented by ethanol.
advantage for using ethanol is its wholesale environmental benefits.
As a clean burning and renewable fuel, ethanol is non-toxic and
100 percent bio-degradable.
other fossil fuels such as oil or coal, ethanol reduces the production
of greenhouse gases by more than 90 percent.
have been proven to be the major catalyst behind climate change
and global warming.
has been a lot of confusion among Zimbabwe's motorists and
fuel dealers over the use of ethanol, as a motor fuel. Other motorists
are shunning blended fuel saying it is inefficient while some fuel
dealers have refused to blend with petrol, currently mixed at a
rate of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent petrol. That rate could
reach up to 85 percent ethanol.
has thrown the future of ethanol into doubt, and caused anxiety
at Green Fuels, the country's main ethanol producer, which
has remained stuck with millions of litres of unused product.
ethanol, Zimbabwe could significantly cut its US$2 billion yearly
fuel import bill.
The Green Fuels
project, situated at Chisumbanje southeast of Zimbabwe, was established
at a cost of US$600 million over the past three years, and targets
to produce at least 100 million litres of ethanol per year.
has created over 4 500 jobs and empowered local village farmers
by improving access to irrigation and contracting them to produce
sugar cane for the plant.
Ethanol is a
renewable, clean-burning, high-octane motor fuel that is produced
by the fermentation of plant sugars. The key term here is renewable
because it addresses the issue of sustainability.
can be hydrous (wet) or anhydrous (dry). Hydrous ethanol, which
is what Zimbabwe had in the eighties, is the most concentrated grade
of ethanol that can be produced by simple distillation without the
further dehydration step necessary to produce anhydrous ethanol.
contains 4 percent water and 96 percent ethanol. Green Fuel produces
anhydrous ethanol - an ethyl alcohol that is free of water,
has a purity of at least 99.6 percent, and is produced using the
latest distillation technology.
is the highest quality ethanol available for fuel, with excellent
performance benefits. The 'fuel grade' ethanol used
in Europe is anhydrous and is usually blended with lower percentages
of petrol, as it mixes better than hydrous ethanol.
been used by humans since pre-historic times, mainly as the intoxicating
ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol was first prepared synthetically
It has been
used as lamp fuel in the United States as early as 1840. From 1908
onward, Ford Model T automobiles were adapted to run on ethanol.
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