Biotech Updates

Germany Halts Mandatory 10% Ethanol Blending in Gasoline

April 25, 2008

The German Minister of Environment, Sigmar Gabriel, announced that he has stopped the planned increase in the mandatory ethanol blend in gasoline (from the present 5% to 10%). Some industry and political groups have criticized the planned increase, saying that the higher ethanol blends could damage older cars. More than 3 million cars in Germany are reportedly “not ready” for the higher fuel blend; they “could be forced to switch to the more expensive unblended gasoline, because of possible damage”. The German Biofuel Association welcomed the Environment Minister’s move, arguing that “bioethanol used for blending in Germany was imported largely from third world countries where deforestation may have taken place to expand farmland”. Consequently, importation would not guarantee “sustainable production methods”. The present level of 5% ethanol blend in gasoline, together with the present level of 7% biodiesel blend in regular diesel fuel, will be maintained..