DAVAO CITY—An environmental group has asked the National Biofuels Board (NBB) to show studies that will prove E-10 (a blend of 10-percent ethanol and 90-percent gasoline) is compatible with vehicles in the country.
The Kaibigan ng Kaunlaran at Kalikasan (KKK) said since the passage of the Biofuels Law of 2006 (Republic Act No. 9367) six years ago, the NBB has not done any comprehensive and scientific studies on the effects of ethanol use in vehicles nor have they conducted extensive public consultations.
The KKK said extensive studies and consultations are prerequisites to mandating an increased ethanol blend in gasoline.
The group said thousands of motorists and vehicles would be affected when the government enforces the 10-percent ethanol blend in all gasoline fuels beginning April 1, 2013.
“Carbureted engines and older vehicles, which constitute a large portion of vehicles on the road, are not compatible with E-10 and may damage the vehicles’ fuel lines, fuel pumps and carburetors. These engines include those found in motorcycles and equipment used by farmers and fisherfolk,” KKK’s executive director,
Dr. Ed Alabastro, said in a statement sent to the Inquirer.
“Additionally, there is a lack of system in place to inform and assist the motoring public on the negative effects of E-10 gasoline. Will the NBB or the oil companies handle motorist complaints if engines begin to break down? Who is accountable?” Alabastro added.
Regular gasoline and some gasoline grades are exempted from ethanol blending but with the six-year old law, all motorists and gasoline users have no choice but to use E-10 gasoline, KKK said.
The energy produced by ethanol is only two-thirds that of gasoline, which means a higher ethanol blend in gasoline will result in lower mileage for vehicles, KKK said.
“Amid high oil prices, why are they forcing a higher ethanol blend when it means that motorists now have to pay more to travel less?” Alabastro said.
Alabastro said the NBB should recommend, as mandated by law, biofuel blends based on the availability of locally produced biofuels. Nico Alconaba, Inquirer Mindanao