(ECNS) -- China plans to promote the use of gasohol as a clean fuel for motor vehicles and expand its use to all parts of the country by 2020, China National Radio reports.
Goals were set in a new action plan jointly issued by 15 ministries and commissions, including National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC), National Energy Administration and the Ministry of Finance, to expand production of bio-ethanol fuel and promote use of gasohol for motor vehicles.
Gasohol reduces carbon dioxide, particles and other pollutants in car emissions. Under the plan, China will promote the use of environmentally friendly E10, a blend of 10 percent denatured fuel ethanol and 90 percent gasoline.
China aims to mass produce cellulosic ethanol made from plant fibers rather than seeds or fruit by 2025. The country's biomass to liquid fuel technology, equipment and industrial capacity will reach world-leading levels with improved market-oriented mechanisms by then, says the plan.
China's ethanol fuel industry started 15 years ago as a way to absorb excess corn supplies. The new plan aims to use inedible types of corn to produce clean gasoline and help ease air pollution problems.
A separate plan on renewable energy issued by NDRC says China would use 10 million tons of bio-ethanol fuel by 2020.
Le Youhua, from China International Engineering Consulting Corp, said ethanol fuel produced from corn may help reduce carbon emissions by 34 percent, and the rate could reach above 75 percent when cellulosic ethanol is commercialized. The cellulosic ethanol industry can help reduce China's crop straw burning emissions, he noted.
Qiao Yingbin, former director of technology at Sinopec Group, said the use of fuel ethanol would help China reduce reliance on oil imports. The fuel ethanol industry would not drive up grain prices, he said.
A pilot program launched in 2001 involving 11 provinces and autonomous regions, set gasohol prices at the same levels as conventional gasoline. It showed no noticeable difference in consumption of the fuels.