Presentation on theme: "Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Ethanol: The Consumer Viewpoint Ngo Anh-Thu Graduate student and Gale West Professor, Director of Consumer Science."— Presentation transcript:
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Ethanol: The Consumer Viewpoint Ngo Anh-Thu Graduate student and Gale West Professor, Director of Consumer Science Programs AIEA2 International Conference and WORKSHOP of the CAES Laval University Québec, Québec, August 24, 2004
On today’s menu….. Introduction Brief review of consumer perceptions Disadvantages of using ethanol Advantages of producing & using ethanol Conclusions & strategic implications
Why ethanol in Canada? The Kyoto Protocol commitment: - by 2012, Canada has to return to 94% of its 1990 GHG emission level. Canadian greenhouse emissions: - 73% from fossil fuel combustion; - 25% from on-the-road transportation.
Consumer perceptions today In Canada - 86% of the population is concerned by the level of foreign oil imports & wants to reduce this dependence to foster national security; - 80% of the population is aware of climate change; - 78% of Ontarians agree to buy ethanol blend IF the price of the ethanol blend equals that of gasoline. - 72% of Ontarians support a mandate to blend ethanol into gasoline;
But what are the alternatives? Future energy choices of U.S. consumers Best fuel for future Worst fuel for future - Electricity52%15% - Ethanol21%28% - Hydrogen15%27% Future choices for reducing oil imports - Making energy efficient vehicles48% - Tax rebates for higher efficiency vehicles24% - Higher taxes on less efficient vehicles11%
Practical consumers are Not that altruistic! They are mostly concerned with: - Traffic congestion (34%) - Availability and/or price of gasoline (28%) - Global warming (14%) - Local air pollution (12%) However, climate change and air pollution are important to some consumers.
Negative environmental and health impacts of ethanol Aldehyde, a function of ethanol volume, is a threat to nose, eyes, throat & possibly causes cancer. At volumes below 23% ethanol, aldehyde emissions can be well controlled by the catalytic converter: Gasoline Gasohol Ethanol Aldehyde (0% ethanol) (22% ethanol) (100%) Before converter100%120%450% After converter100%100%120%
Negative cost considerations to consumers (Fuel Economy Guide 2004, U.S. Department of Energy) E85 costs 33% more to consumer’s annual budget: Fuel use Annual fuel cost Chrysler ChryslerE85 $1323 U.S. (Sebring convertible)gasoline$ 900 U.S. Dodge Dodge(~ Mercury) E85 $1323 U.S. (Stratus 4 door)gasoline$ 876 U.S. GMC Sports Car GMC Sports CarE85 $1874 U.S. (1500 Yukon 2 WD)gasoline$1312 U.S.
Negative cost considerations (Canada) In Quebec, E5 is available at certain service stations. Regular gasoline E5 (5% ethanol blend) 88.3 ¢/litre91.3 ¢/litre In Canada, since the cost of making ethanol is still high, ethanol prices at the pump are a function of % ethanol in the blend.
Negative technical dimensions Driving ability of ethanol is lower. - Lower per litre energy value (EV); - Takes more to drive the same distance; - Consumers have to fill their cars more often; - And they have to pay more for ethanol fuel. When blended above E10, consumers : - Driving regular cars have to pay at least $1,200 U.S. to have their engines adapted; and - Have to drive extra distances to special service stations to buy ethanol.
Negative technical dimensions (cont.) Ethanol can absorb water & if water enters the fuel tank - It dilutes ethanol, reducing its value as a fuel; - It causes problems with corrosion and phase separation in the gasoline mixture. Ethanol dissolves almost everything. - It absorbs and carries dirt inside the fuel lines and fuel tank, thus contaminanting the car engine system. Ethanol is rich in octane content. - It is highly flammable and explosive compared to gasoline. - It requires more attention to handle in daily life.
Postive environmental impacts: Life cycle analysis (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy) Agri- product transport
Positive health and political impacts Health impacts Replaces bad gasoline additives (MTBE and lead), which are sources of surface and ground water contamination, and dangerous to human health; Political impacts to consumer-voters - It potentially replaces crude oil, which is a finite, non-renewable resource; - It can be domestically produced, thus reducing dependence on oil imports; - It can potentially cut oil import costs.
Positive socio-economic impacts Ethanol uses agri-products as a feed-stock; It is a renewable source of energy, which can replace fossil fuel in the future; It increases value added and price of agri- products, which increases net farm income; It creates more jobs in the rural sector; Strengthens rural economies; It can potentially reduce government subsidies to the farm sector.
Positive impacts on greenhouse gases In Canada today, compared to gasoline, - E10 can reduce GHG by up to 3.9%; - E85 can reduce GHG emissions by 37.1%; If ethanol production can be expanded to 1 billion litres per year by 2010, - E10 can reduce GHG by up to 4.6%. - E85 can reduce GHG emissions by 44.5%; With respect to the Canadian Kyoto commitment - These figures represent approximately 0.8 - 1.0% of the total reduction required.
Positive impacts on exhaust emissions How ? - Ethanol, richer in octane, promotes more complete combustion of gasoline thus reducing exhaust emissions. Without catalytic converter, compared to gasoline: - Using E6 lowers CO emissions by 27%; and - Also lowers other harmful emissions ( ex., HC, PM, VOC & SOx). However, with the catalytic converter : - Almost no difference in exhaust emissions between gasoline and ethanol blends.
Positive technical dimensions High octane content gives particular value to consumers using high performance engines. When used as a gasoline additive, ethanol is - not as poisonous as MTBE and lead, - a soluble deposit-controler, removing impurities in the fuel system and placing them in the filter; - an anti-icer, preventing fuel-line freeze up in the winter, and requiring less time (and energy) to start the vehicle; - richer in octane, an anti-oxidant to reduce gum formation in stored petrol.
Conclusions and strategic implications Given increasing consumer interest, there is a definite need to inform consumers of the advantages of ethanol. Changing consumer choice to ethanol can: –reduce dependence on foreign oil; –reduce local pollution and clean the atmosphere; –help respect Kyoto GHG commitments; –slow climate change; –provide a more renewable fuel source.
Conclusions and strategic implications (cont.) To overcome disadvantages (higher price, lower driving ability), the Canadian government should in the short run : –Provide price subsidies and/or consumer tax credits (as in Brazil, US, EU, China); –Limit ethanol blends to E10 or less, to avoid massive engine reconstruction.
Conclusions and strategic implications (cont.) In the long run, the government should –promote technical research in ethanol production; –instate an education campaign to inform consumers of the purpose and benefits of ethanol. The automobile industry will react to growing future demand for ethanol by producing new car engines.
Technical definitions In vehicles, ethanol can be used as: - a gasoline additive (blended into gasoline at 10% or less); - gasohol (blended at high volume of 20% to 85%); or - a high blend ethanol (blended at 85% up to 100% pure ethanol). Technical limit : Regular cars can handle up to 10% ethanol without engine reconstruction.
Cost considerations to consumers (Fuel Economy Guide 2004, U.S. Department of Energy) E85 costs 33% more to consumer’s annual budget: Fuel use Annual fuel cost Chrysler ChryslerE85 $1323 U.S. (Sebring converible)gasoline$ 900 U.S. Dodge Dodge(~ Mercury) E85 $1323 U.S. (Stratus 4 door)gasoline$ 876 U.S. GMC Sports Car GMC Sports CarE85 $1874 U.S. (1500 Yukon 2 WD)gasoline$1312 U.S. Chevrolet Sports Car Chevrolet Sports CarE85 $1874 U.S. (C1500 Silverado 2WD)gasoline$1401 U.S.