Kaibigan ng Kaunlaran at Kalikasan (KKK)

Kaibigan ng Kaunlaran at Kalikasan (KKK)

Friends of Progress and the Environment

Mandate on Bioethanol: The Noble Objectives and Unintended Consequences

The noble intentions of the Philippines "Biofuels Act of 2006" are clearly stipulated in the policy.

  1. to reduce dependence on imported fuels.
  2. mitigate toxic and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  3. increase rural employment income and
  4. ensure the viability of alternative and renewable clean energy without any detriment to the natural ecosystem, biodiversity and food reserves.

However, the experiences in the other countries as well as the documented findings on the production and use of bioethanol in motor vehicles have prompted KKK to seek enlightenment on the attendant issues through communications with the Department of Energy, the National Biofuels Board (on which recommendations the DOE implements the regulations) and with Congresswoman Henedina Abad of the Committee on Energy. Discussions through public fora were also undertaken locally and in other countries (San Francisco during the forum on ghg and climate change and in Jakarta in fora with the local NGOs)

On reduction of energy dependence

The lower energy content of ethanol-gasoline mix, the higher evaporative emissions losses and the net increase in total energy usage from crop production to use in vehicles are challenges raised, illustrated below showing the energy cycle comparison between E-gasoline and conventional gasoline.

The Indonesia "2011 Air Quality Report"cites that the energy produced by ethanol is only 2/3 of the energy produced by gasoline..".

In its 2009 Report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, USA) cited a reduction in fuel economy by about 3.68 %.

On toxic and ghg emissions.

Dr. Wijarn Smacahaya, Thailand, revealed during the Better Air Quality 2008 Forum in Thailand the increases in air toxic emissions: xylene by 177.1 %; acetaldehyde by 127.3 %; ethylbenzene by 122.3 %, formaldehyde by 6.2 % and also in NOx by 12.2 %, HC by 5.7 %, CO2 by 3.9%. Decreases in Benzene and CO were noted. Several other similar authoritative reports have been published.

On competition with food reserves.

Exacerbated by climate change effects and robust population growths, food security is among the challenges with bioethanol.

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