Oct 8 - 14, 2012

At present, about 80% of the world's demand for transportation fuels -- road, rail, air and sea -- is met by derivatives from the fossil fuel, petroleum. Petrol, one of the major derivatives of petroleum, is used throughout the world as a motor vehicle fuel.

Other petroleum derivatives including diesel and liquid petroleum gas can be used in motor vehicles as alternatives to petrol as can compressed natural gas, which often occurs in conjunction with petroleum deposits. Some alternatives are derived from non-fossil, or partly renewable, sources such as grain or other agricultural crops. However, these need fertilizers made from fossil fuels etc. and are not, therefore, totally renewable.

The major fossil fuel alternatives to petrol are:

* diesel
* liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
* compressed natural gas (CNG)
* ethers -- methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) produced from natural gas and butane
* electricity from coal/oil/gas and
* methanol produced from natural gas or coal,

Non-Fossil fuel are given below:

* nuclear fission and fusion
* geothermal power
* hydropower
* tidal power
* ocean currents & temperatures
* wind
* solar
* biomass
* Hydrogen Economy


Early refineries used a simple distillation process to separate crude oil into its components according to their boiling points. The petrol produced by this method was only that naturally occurring in the crude oil.

As demand for motor spirit grew, engineers and chemists found that more severe heating of the higher boiling points hydrocarbons broke them down, or 'cracked' them, into smaller, lower boiling hydrocarbons more suitable for petrol production. From 1913, thermal cracking was used to increase petrol production.

Substances known as 'catalysts' were later found to do a better job of cracking hydrocarbons than heat alone, by speeding up the reaction and producing a greater yield of higher octane petrol.


Petrol is a derivative of petroleum. It is essentially a complex mixture of hydrocarbons that boils below 180o C. The hydrocarbon constituents are those that have 4 - 12 carbon atoms in their structure and fall into three general types:

* Paraffins, such as hexane (C6H14), and octane (C8H18)
* Olefins, such as hexene (C6H12)
* Aromatics, such as benzene (C6H6) and toluene

Petrol consists of a blend of more than 200 such hydrocarbons either occurring naturally in petroleum or manufactured from it. Petrol's can vary considerably in composition, depending upon the source of the original crude oil, and the processes used in production.

When there is enough oxygen, hydrocarbons can be burnt to form CO2 and water vapour, releasing HEAT.

The equation for the complete combustion of hexane is:

  2C6H14 + 19O2 12CO2 + 14H2O
FOR OCTANE          
  2C8H18 + 25O2   16CO2 + 18H2O
FOR HEXENE          
  C6H12 + 18O2   12CO2 + 12H2O
FOR BENZENE          
  C6H6 + 15O2   12CO2 + 6H2O

If insufficient oxygen is available, incomplete combustion occurs, forming carbon monoxide CO, nitrogen oxides and carbon, as well as carbon dioxide and water.


Airbus believes that alternative fuels should be primarily reserved for the aviation industry, since there currently are not any other viable energy sources foreseen in the coming years. The company's strategy is based on being the catalyst in the search for sustainable solutions leading to production of commercial quantities of alternative aviation fuels.

A new industry-wide initiative to speed up aviation biofuel commercialization in Europe has been launched by Airbus, the European Commission, leading European airlines and key European biofuel producers. This initiative, called the "European Advanced Biofuel Flight path," is committed to supporting and promoting the production, storage and distribution of sustainably produced drop-in biofuels for aviation use.

The objective is to reach two million tons of production and consumption by 2020, which represents roughly four per cent of the aviation fuel used across the European Union.


Alternative fuel research is a core tenet of Airbus' initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of air transport, lowering its overall CO2 footprint.

Airbus' premise is based on establishing local sustainable solutions in communities around the world, because the company believes that multiple supply source solutions - such as camelina, jatropha, algae, yeast, woodchips and organic waste - can co-exist.

Once sources are established, the next phase would focus on expediting the use of alternative fuels commercially, enabling the air transport industry to meet the targets of carbon neutral growth by 2020, and the 75 per cent CO2 reductions established by the Flightpath 2050 vision.


Airbusí launch of an alternative fuels roadmap has led to collaborative projects and flights with airline partners, along with the recent approval of 50 per cent blends of biomass to liquid (BTL) and hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) fuels on commercial flights. In one partnership effort, Lufthansa performed daily bio-fuel flights using a 50 per cent blend of jatropha-based fuel in one engine on an A321.

Airbus also is working with the European Commission and other stakeholders to develop a European roadmap for the implementation of aviation biofuels in the European Advanced Biofuel Flight path initiative.

With adequate supply sources that have the ability to produce commercial quantities of alternative fuel, and support from governments, Airbus believes that up to a third of aviation fuel could come from alternative sources by 2030.


Airbus is leading this supply effort through an ambitious global program connecting farmers, refiners and the airlines to form regional bio-fuel value chains. Researchers in Brazil are working on a bio-jet fuel created from the jatropha plant - with 4,000 hectares being grown for production.

The company also teamed with Virgin Australia Airlines to support the cultivating of eucalyptus in Australia, and Airbus is supporting the development of 2,000 hectares of camelina for aviation fuel in Spain. Additionally, it is endorsing an initiative in Qatar to transform micro-algae into a sustainable source. These local partnerships are designed to help airlines benefit from local knowledge and connections, as well as encourage area farmers with the confidence that crops will be bought by refiners - which in turn have the airlines as customers.

As airlines fly across continents and have to be able to refuel anywhere, the goal is to establish local value chains on every continent by the end of 2012. Programs have already been established in Latin America, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, Airbus partnered with China's Tsinghua University and the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) in 2012 to explore fuel sources, develop a value chain, and produce aviation biofuel for use in the country - which is home to one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets.

Airbus' role in the value chain is to lead and manage the sustainability, assessment and lifecycle analysis. The company also will be monitoring any feasibility studies to ensure any solution developed can satisfy the sustainability criteria approved by the Round Table on Sustainable Bio-fuels, of which Airbus is a member.


Exhaust emissions from petrol-driven cars include, in addition to CO2 and water vapor, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and CO. These latter emissions may be effectively reduced by fitting a three-way catalytic converter that converts these three types of exhaust components into less reactive substances.

Volatile organic compounds are also emitted into the atmosphere through evaporation from fuel tanks, carburetors and refueling stations. These emissions can be reduced by using carbon canisters containing activated charcoal which absorbs these vapors. Evaporation can also be controlled during manufacturing and distribution with double tank roofs, improved tank seals and vapor recovery units.

An important element in the efficiency of petrol combustion is the octane number. This indicates the ability of the fuel to resist detonation, which is referred to as engine pinging or knocking. Such detonation is caused by the spontaneous igniting of the fuel and air in the engine cylinders before the spark is fired. Higher octane fuels are less susceptible to detonation and thus prevent engine knock and in turn maintain engine power.

Lead has traditionally been added to petrol as an effective and economic method of boosting octane quality. However, concerns have recently arisen about the possible health effects of lead in vehicle exhaust emissions. Concerns also about atmospheric 'smog' pollution have led to the desire to remove up to 90% of the smog precursors present in engine exhaust gases by the use of catalytic converters. This in turn requires that the petrol be lead free if the catalyst is to function properly. In Australia this resulted in a decision to change to cars which operate on unleaded petrol with a lower octane than previously used, so that changes to refinery configurations, to make up for the octane loss upon the removal of the lead, would not be too extensive.

This change is not without its disadvantages, since a lower octane fuel results in a less efficient engine, and an overall increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Some additional CO2 emissions also arise from the changed refining processes. Thus, although the move to unleaded petrol may be successful on a local level from a smog point of view, it is likely to have an increased impact upon global air quality in terms of CO2.


Most cars today run on petrol because it is a relatively cheap, convenient, safe and reliable fuel that yields good vehicle performance complete with a good vehicle range capability. It can also be stored and handled easily.


Ethanol is a renewable, domestically produced transportation fuel. Whether used in low-level blends, such as E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline), or in E85 (a gasoline-ethanol blend containing 51% to 83% ethanol, depending on geography and season), ethanol helps reduce imported oil and greenhouse gas emissions. Like any alternative fuel, there are some considerations to take into account when contemplating the use of ethanol.


About two-thirds of Pakistan petroleum demand is in the transportation sector. Approximately more than three fourth of Pakistan petroleum is imported. Depending heavily on foreign petroleum supplies puts the Pakistan at risk for trade deficits, supply disruption, and price changes.


A gallon of ethanol contains less energy than a gallon of gasoline. The result is lower fuel economy than a gallon of gasoline. The amount of energy difference varies depending on the blend. For example, E85 has about 27% less energy per gallon than gasoline (mileage penalty lessens as ethanol content decreases). However, because ethanol is a high-octane fuel, it offers increased vehicle power and performance.


The carbon dioxide released when ethanol is burned is balanced by the carbon dioxide captured when the crops are grown to make ethanol. This differs from petroleum, which is made from plants that grew millions of years ago. On a life cycle analysis basis, corn-based ethanol production and use reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by up to 52% compared to gasoline production and use. Cellulosic ethanol use could reduce GHGs by as much as 86%.


Ethanol has been known as a fuel for many decades. Indeed, when Henry Ford designed the Model T, it was his expectation that ethanol, made from renewable biological materials, would be a major automobile fuel. However, it is not widely used because of its high price. But as a fuel for spark-ignition engines, ethanol has some advantages over gasoline, such as better anti-knock characteristics and the reduction of CO and UHC emissions. Although having these advantages, due to limitation in technology, economic and regional considerations, alcohol fuel still cannot be used extensively. Since ethanol can be fermented and distilled from biomasses, it can be considered as a renewable energy. Under the environmental consideration, using ethanol blended with gasoline is better than pure gasoline because of its renewability and less toxicity.

Looking forward for Pakistan to utilize the gasoline - ethanol bending which is very important to use much bigger amount of renewal fuel. Based on economic and environmental considerations in Pakistan, we are interested in studying the effects of ethanol contents in the ethanol-gasoline blended fuel on the engine performance and pollutant emission of a SI engine (Spark Ignition).

Ethanol (C2H5OH) is a pure substance. However, gasoline is composed of C4-C12 hydrocarbons, and has wider transitional properties. Ethanol contains an oxygen atom so that it can be viewed as a partially oxidized hydrocarbon. Ethanol is completely miscible with water in all proportions, while the gasoline and water are immiscible . This may cause the blended fuel to contain water, and further result in the corrosion problems on the mechanical components, especially for components made of copper, brass or aluminum. To reduce this problem on fuel delivery system, such materials mentioned above should be avoided.

Ethanol can react with most rubber and create jam in the fuel pipe. Therefore, it is advised to use fluorocarbon rubber as a replacement for rubber. On the combustion characteristics, the auto-ignition temperature and flash point of ethanol are higher than those of gasoline, which makes it safer for transportation and storage. The latent heat of evaporation of ethanol is 3-5 times higher than that of gasoline; this makes the temperature of the intake manifold lower, and increases the volumetric efficiency. The heating value of ethanol is lower than that of the gasoline. Therefore, we need 1.6 times more alcohol fuel to achieve the same energy output. The stoichiometric air-fuel ratio (AFR) of ethanol is about 2/3 that of the gasoline, so the required amount of air for complete combustion is lesser for alcohol.

Sustaining a clean environment has become an important issue in an industrialized society. The air pollution caused by automobiles and motor cycles is one of the important environmental problems to be tackled. Since using ethanol-gasoline blended fuels can ease off the air pollution and the depletion of petroleum fuels simultaneously, many researchers have been devoted to studying the effect of these alternative fuels on the performance and pollutant emission of an engine. Various blend rates of ethanol-gasoline fuels in engine tests. Results indicated that 10% ethanol addition increases the engine power output by 5%, and the octane number can be increased by 5% for each 10% ethanol added. Furthermore more test were carried out with 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% ethanol of blended fuels in a variable-compression-ratio engine. They found that the increase of ethanol content increases the octane number, but decreases the heating value. The 10% addition of ethanol had the most obvious effect on increasing the octane number. Under various compression ratios of engine, the optimum blend rate was found to be 10% ethanol with 90% gasoline.

The properties of the used fuels and blend in the experiment are displayed in table (below).

Density (kg/m3 at 20∞C) 789 790 790
RON 108 95.2 98.9
Heating value (MJ/kg) 27.0 44.0 41.8
Carbon (wt %) 52.20 86.60 83.16
Hydrogen (wt %) 13.10 13.30 13.28
Oxygen (wt %) 34.70 0.03 3.50


Coming on hard times, the ethanol industry must face a long road ahead and battle against competing technologies, among other factors, to keep strong in the alternative energy sector.

* In Brazil, by law, all gasoline contains a minimum of 25 percent alcohol. Yet ethanol is so popular it actually accounts for 40 percent of all vehicle fuel.

* By 2007, 100 percent of all new Brazilian cars may be able to run on 100 percent ethanol. Brazilian sugar-cane-fed biorefineries will be capable of producing sufficient ethanol to allow the entire fleet, new and old cars alike, to do so.

* In Brazil, ethanol is now being used in aviation. Small planes, like crop dusters, are switching to ethanol because it is a superior fuel and is more widely available, even in remote parts of the country, than conventional aviation fuel.

* Its stunning success with ethanol has encouraged Brazil to begin displacing diesel fuel with vegetable oils from its vast soybean crop. Within 15 years it expects to substitute biodiesel for 20 percent of its conventional diesel.

* One more detail. Back in the mid 1990s, Brazil ended its ethanol subsidies. Nevertheless, with world oil prices hovering around $55 a barrel, the price of ethanol today is only half that of gasoline. Since its inception, Brazil's ethanol program has displaced imported oil worth $120 billion. This is comparable to a savings of almost $2 trillion for a U.S.-sized economy.

* Back in Minnesota, our vehicles remain stuck at the 10 percent ethanol level first achieved almost a decade ago. Yet today, ethanol produced within the state could displace 25 percent of gasoline consumed within the state. Without increasing crop acreage, Minnesota could become self-sufficient in passenger-vehicle fuel and significantly displace diesel fuels.

* Minnesota arrived at this enviable situation as a result of farsighted state policies. In the early 1980s the state ethanol incentive mirrored the federal incentive -- a partial exemption from the gasoline tax. That incentive increased demand, but every drop of ethanol was imported into the state.

* In the mid 1980s, Minnesota's farmers successfully petitioned the Legislature to restructure the state incentive to encourage in-state production of ethanol.

* The incentive became a direct payment of 20 cents per gallon. There were limits: The ethanol had to be produced in Minnesota. The incentive was available only for the first 15 million gallons produced each year. The incentive lasted only for 10 years per plant.

* The restructured incentive has made Minnesota home to 15 small- and medium-sized ethanol plants (18 by the end of 2005). The bio refineries' relatively small size has enabled a significant proportion of the state's full-time grain farmers to become owners. This dramatically boosts the local economic benefit of such facilities.

* Because of the incentive's time limit, within the next year or two, more than half of all state ethanol production will receive no incentive. Several new plants are being built without a state incentive.

* Brazil has shown us that biofuels can be a primary fuel rather than simply a gasoline additive. Here are seven policies Minnesota should adopt to imitate Brazil's success.

Ethanol is a Viable Source of Energy and can replace the gasoline

The Fermentation of sugar crops (sugarcane, wheat, sorghum, maize, etc), starch, cornstalks, vegetable leftover and fruits after distillation is known as ethanol. US Department of Energy's National Renewable Laboratory defines ethanol as "clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic, agreeable order." Some scientist also adds 'taste' to this definition. Although toxic, ethanol is a drinkable alcohol contrary to methanol which is poisonous due to wood and methyl alcohol. Ethanol is also used in the making beer. It has very good performance as a motor fuel with less emission of pollutants.

The Fermentation of sugar crops (sugarcane, wheat, sorghum, maize, etc), starch, cornstalks, vegetable leftover and fruits after distillation is known as ethanol. US Department of Energy's National Renewable Laboratory defines ethanol as "clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic, agreeable order." Some scientist also adds 'taste' to this definition. Although toxic, ethanol is a drinkable alcohol contrary to methanol which is poisonous due to wood and methyl alcohol. Ethanol is also used in the making beer. It has very good performance as a motor fuel with less emission of pollutants.

It is a substitute to gasoline. With its high octane level it has replaced lead as an octane enhancer in gasoline. Engines get 'knock' while using those fuels that burn too quickly. The chances of engine knocking decrease with the increased number of octane which slows down the fuel burning. Without any harmful additives, the octane number of the mixture of ethanol and gasoline goes up by three points..

Corn or sugarcane can be used to make ethanol. Corn is used as biomaterial in United States to make the fuel where in comparatively warm places sugarcane is utilized for this purpose. Moreover, corn can be easily grown in United States where the production of sugarcane is troublesome. Ethanol can also be distilled from petroleum oil. The mixture of 85 per cent gasoline and 15 per cent ethanol is widely available and is used directly in gasoline engine. The burning of this mixture is cleaner thus causing least pollution. Ethanol on producing from the renewable bio source can also decrease the use of fossil fuels.

It is argued that the energy required to convert corn into ethanol fuel is nearly equal to the amount of energy gained from the fuel. The production of ethanol from corn is new and expected to be developed in near future. The fuel manufactured from the sugarcane is more favorable in terms of energy as the leftover can also used as an independent bio fuel to produce energy. The sugarcane manufacturing process is widely used in Brazil and Caribbean islands as the ethanol fuel's contribution in meeting the power requirements of these sites is very significant. Brazil is more apt than any other state in switching to the ethanol fuel. It has already 20 per cent of vehicles that are run by ethanol where the mixture of ethanol and gasoline is used in about 50 per cent of motors.

The well known model T Ford was designed by Henry Ford to run alcohol who christened it the fuel of future. His forecast was not agreeable to the oil manufacturers who thought otherwise but the oil crisis of 1970s proved Ford right.

Long ago methyl tertbutyl ether (MTBE) was used as an oxygenate additive to gasoline but now ethanol is used for this purpose. MTBE is very harmful for the planet and was required to be replaced where ethanol can serve the purpose without damaging the environment. Oxygenating gasoline is frequently used in winter rather than in summer. It improves the octane quality, boost up ignition and decrease the emission of carbon mono-oxide.


Ethanol is a better fuel than petrol. Here are some of its advantages.

* A renewable source of energy extracted from plants.

* The production or the combustion of ethanol does not emit green house gases or poisonous pollutants. Thus it is not like the fossil fuels.

* Gives high level of octane at less cost and serves as a best substitute to hazardous additives like MTBE.

* All petrol engines can utilize the mixtures of ethanol and needs no alterations. These blends also decrease the emission of hydrocarbons that deplete the ozone layer.

* The fuel is eco-friendly and saves the environment from the hazards of other fossil fuels.

* According to USA EPA, more than any other oxygenate the oxygen content of ethanol decreases the level of carbon monoxide by 25 to 30 per cent.

* The emission of Particulate Matter and sulfur dioxide is also reduced by ethanol.

* The discharge of benzene and butadiene that cause cancer is also decreased by 50 per cent.

* Unlike biodiesel, there is no need to have a corporation. Ethanol can be made even in your backyard. Those who want to save the environment are busy in producing ethanol in their backyards; guidelines of the procedure are easily available.


Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, has the chemical formula C2H5OH. It is the same alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, but ethanol also makes an effective motor fuel. There have been decades of motor fuel application experience in the United States and other countries with ethanol.


Most ethanol used for fuel is being blended into gasoline at concentrations of 5 to 10 percent. In California, ethanol has replaced methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as a gasoline component. More than 95 percent of the gasoline supplied in the state today contains 6 percent ethanol. There is a small but growing market for E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), several million of which have been produced by U.S. automakers. But E85 is primarily found in the Midwest in corn-producing states. Ethanol is also being used to formulate a blend with diesel fuel, known as "E-Diesel", and as a replacement for leaded aviation gasoline in small aircraft.


Ethanol has a lower energy content than gasoline. That means that about one-third more ethanol is required to travel the same distance as on gasoline. But other ethanol fuel characteristics, including a high octane rating, result in increased engine efficiency and performance.

The 15 percent gasoline used to formulate E85 is to assure cold weather engine starting and to enhance flame luminosity in case of fire. In low-percentage blends with gasoline, ethanol results in increased vapor pressure, which can be adjusted for in the fuel formulation process and/or controlled with on-board vehicle systems. All gasoline vehicles in use in the U.S. today can accept gasoline blended with up to 10 percent ethanol (sometimes called gasohol). Flexible Fuel Vehicles (VVFs) are cars and trucks that can use any level of ethanol up to 85 percent. They're built with special fuel system components designed to be compatible with higher ethanol concentrations.


Today's expanding fuel ethanol industry in the United States uses mostly corn as its basic ingredient. It is processed via fermentation and distillation to produce ethanol, animal feed, and other by-products. Midwestern states, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska are the largest ethanol-producing states; however, there is some ethanol production in 20 states.

California in 2004 had two small ethanol producers, Parallel Products in Rancho Cucamonga and Golden Cheese in Corona, both of which make ethanol from food and beverage industry residuals. Several new, larger projects are underway to produce ethanol from corn.

Brazil is the world's top ethanol producer, using sugar cane as the feedstock. Vehicles in that country have been using 100 percent ethanol for decades.


More American states and foreign countries are becoming ethanol producers, employing traditional crop feedstocks and processes. In addition, new technologies for producing ethanol from agricultural, forestry, and municipal wastes and residues are the focus of major research and development efforts around the world. Future ethanol production projects are being planned in California using agricultural crops such as sugar cane, and, eventually, various waste and residual feedstocks when technologies for processing these materials become commercially available.


The cost of producing ethanol remains significantly higher than the cost of producing fuels from petroleum. The federal government, since 1978, has given tax incentives intended to make ethanol competitive with gasoline in the motor fuel marketplace. Continued progress with both conventional and advanced ethanol production technologies could someday result in ethanol production costs competitive with petroleum fuels.


Produced renewably from agricultural crops or from recycled wastes and residues, ethanol used as motor fuel offers a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources. With respect to other motor vehicle emissions, differences between ethanol and gasoline are becoming less significant as new motor vehicles are produced with extremely low emission levels on all fuels. California's replacement of MTBE with ethanol was based on a determination that ethanol presents less of a pollution risk to drinking water sources.


Most of California's current ethanol fuel supply is delivered from the producing states via standard rail tank cars, with some import shipments via marine vessels. It is then stored at fuel terminals and added to gasoline when tank trucks are filled for delivery to fueling stations, where it is stored and dispensed the same as non-ethanol gasoline.

E85 dispensers require use of upgraded materials compatible with ethanol's chemical properties. Also, due to certain ethanol properties, fuel transport pipelines in the United States do not currently ship ethanol or gasoline containing ethanol, although experience in Brazil and elsewhere indicates that pipeline shipment can be feasible. To prevent diversion for human consumption, federal regulations require ethanol produced for fuel use to have a denaturant (usually gasoline) added before shipping.