Ethanol - Australia ? : 13/10/06


Ethanol has been talked about for years in Australia as a means to progress a renewable fuel which can be manufactured here, and can be easily added as a percentage to petrol. Ethanol blended with petrol burns cleaner and reduces our dependence on foreign crude oil.Ethanol is currently used by certain South American countries, as a sustainable renewable fuel which is used in their cars at a 100% level. This has allowed the very large local sugar growers to produce equally large quantities of ethanol, for their local populations and as well save billions of dollars annually in the foreign debt associated with crude oil importation; The economic factors are sure to be multiplied overtime. Australian researchers have recently discovered new ways of fermenting the sugar cane waste sugars, by evolving new yeasts for the job. This now allows for the first time much more Ethanol production from sugar cane waste, and can as well apply to other bio-wastes

Australia produces sugar and is thus capable of producing ethanol. We of course need cars that can operate safely on ethanol blends of 10% and more. Can the new Holden or Ford cars operate on Ethanol? Ethanol can now be used as a fuel in an Ethanol based Fuel Cell. This amazing breakthrough in year 2005, allows ethanol at room temperature to be consumed in a dedicated fuel cell producing “clean” electricity, without combustion. The Ethanol Fuel Cell [EFC] is being co-developed by Italy and the UK, and it is hoped by ~yr 2010 that power and performance will rival the PEM fuel cells of today.

What this can mean is that Ethanol can be used for combustion today and non-combustion tomorrow. Ethanol can thus have its own “Bridge” plan being able to be used today in combustion engines and co-exist with futuristic fuel cells running on Ethanol. The risk associated with Ethanol is thus reduced significantly, as a technology led approach towards future sustainability will embrace it not exclude it.  


Article by: Stephen  Zorbas

Today ethanol is used in NSW , however energy to distance travelled has not been put forward so a comparison can be made by motorists.- 20.9.14