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Bio-ethanol fuel tests

June 21, 1999, 10:00 CEST

A two-month test with bio-ethanol as a bus fuel is being carried out in Denmark with the involvement of Statoil's Danish subsidiary.

This product is essentially a technical alcohol produced by fermenting biomass. After conversion to fuel, it has a life cycle which emits less carbon dioxide to the environment than other types of fuel.

Although bio-ethanol is not competitive with traditional motor fuels such as petrol and diesel oil, the trial has been staged to determine whether it is possible to produce and use this product as an environmental fuel.

However, fuel tax could be reduced if the product is ultimately adopted commercially, says Sven-Ole Toft at Statoil's Kalundborg refinery near Copenhagen.

He is the group's contact in the project, which is being coordinated by a local business council. The refinery is cooperating with units in Retailing & Nordic Energy on the tests.

Statoil's role is to secure bio-ethanol from Swedish ethanol producer Sekab, store this fuel at the Kalundborg refinery and supply it from there to bus companies.

Other participants include the Akzo Nobel chemicals company and bus manufacturer Scania, both based in Sweden.

Two Scania buses have been fitted with specially-built engines which can run on bio-ethanol. They will operate in Kalundborg and the surrounding region of western Zealand.