The global trend of rapid development of clean technology does not bypass Ukraine. Now on the agenda – the rapid development of alternative types of motor fuel. One of the most promising at present is the production of so-called biofuels. So, what is bioethanol, what the benefits are and whether there are possibilities of mass application in Ukraine – OBOZREVATEL consulted with an expert Bioenergy Association of Ukraine Semyon Dragneva.

What is bioethanol?

Bioethanol – this is dehydrated ethyl alcohol, which can be used as biofuels, or as biocomponent motor fuel.

Looks like bioethanol

Distinguish between bioethanol of the first generation, which is made from crops high in sugar or starch, in particular, sugar cane, sugar beet, corn, wheat, which can also be used as raw materials and bioethanol of the second generation, which is produced from non-food cellulosic raw materials, such as wood, herbaceous energy crops, straw, corn stalks, etc.

Unlike conventional ethanol (ethyl alcohol used for production of alcohol), bioethanol is produced using a shortened distillation and contains almost no water (to 0.2%). In addition, bioethanol in large quantities contains methanol and fusel oils, so is completely unsuitable for human consumption.

In domestic conditions the addition of ethanol in motor fuel is economically profitable, if this biocomponent produced from cheap raw materials, such as molasses. In Ukraine there is a valid DSTU 7687-2015 “Gasoline car Euro. Technical conditions” on the content of bioethanol, the following types of gasoline:

• E5 – no more than 5% by volume;

• E7 – more than 5% and not more than 7% by volume;

• E10 – more than 7% and not more than 10% by volume.

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The advantages of bioethanol

1. Environmentally friendly. This is the main and most important advantage. When using bioethanol reduces emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. So, if you use E10 gasoline (with bioethanol 10%) greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 3.9%. Also recorded a significant decrease in harmful emissions benzopyrene, dioxins and other carcinogens.

2. Cheap raw materials. Bioethanol produced from renewable raw materials, so there is the possibility of using different types of biomass, particularly agricultural waste.

3. The technical possibilities. We must not forget that the octane number of ethanol – 105. This means that it can be burned in engines with higher compression ratio. So engines designed exclusively for this energy source should be no worse than the current gasoline or diesel in terms of efficiency and in terms of the power characteristics.

4. The safety of using. Biofuels for cars is non-toxic, no smell, can cause poisoning. Its use significantly reduces the risk of soil contamination, because the spilled fuel got into the ground, quickly decomposed by microorganisms.


But we must not forget that there are disadvantages of this type of alternative fuels: for example, given the presence of ethanol in oxygen, the calorific value is less than the hydrocarbons in gasoline that affect the increase in fuel consumption; engines must be adapted to use bioethanol and gasoline blends with bioethanol content of more than 5% and more important – ethanol is very hygroscopic, so it is important to prevent the possibility of contact with water.

In the world, according to statistics 2018, it produced about 106 billion litres of bioethanol. The largest producers – the United States (56% of world production), Brazil (28%), EU (5%), China (4%) and Canada (2%). In the United States – 94.3% of bioethanol produced from maize starch, 2.9%, and corn / sorghum / cellulose biomass 2,1% – corn / sorghum, to 0.5% from cellulosic biomass and 0, 2% from food waste.

In the United States in 2018, the average retail price of mixed E10 gasoline was about 0.71$ /l E85 – 0,55 $/L.

Biofuel mixture of bioethanol is separated into mixtures with a low content of bioethanol in petrol (E5, E10, E15 or E25), ED diesel (10% bio-ethanol in diesel fuel), E-diesel (7.7% ethanol, additives and diesel fuel) and blends with high content of bioethanol in gasoline (E85 and E100) and ED95 (96.5% bioethanol and 3.5% of additives). To use mixtures of biofuels with high content of bioethanol should be used in special engines, so-called vehicles with flexible-fuel (flexible fuel vehicles).

The production of bioethanol

What is happening in Ukraine

In Ukraine at gas stations already sell gasoline mixed with ethanol, which is often in the designation of the letter “E” or the word “ECO”. The bioethanol can be obtained from the passport of quality of fuel. So, at gas stations sell produced by PJSC “Ukrtatnafta” of gasoline E-95 Super, the proportion of alcohol which is 35%. This fuel is not sold at all gas stations and its current retail price is 21,45 UAH / liter.

But with the production of bioethanol in Ukraine is not all right. In total we can produce this type of engine fuel – 10 enterprises. The current installed capacity of these plants is of 111.4 thousand tons / year., But the volume of bioethanol production in 2018 amounted to only 22.6 thousand tons that is engaged only 20% of their capacity.

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That might help

At the end of last year the Verkhovna Rada registered the bill No. 2471 regarding the development of the market of liquid biofuels in Ukraine. Provides:

the establishment of a compulsory share of liquid biofuels in total annual sales of petrol:

from 1 January 2021 – less than 3.4 percent of energy;

from January 1, 2023 – not less than 4.8 percent of the energy;

from January 1, 2025 not less than the energy of 6.9 percent.

liability for failure to comply with quotas;

introduction of requirements for compliance with the sustainability criteria for biofuels from 1 January 2022.

The technical characteristics of the fuel biocomponents have to meet the European standards.

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