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What is E10 fuel and is it safe

Teaser: Riding motorbikes is a great thing to do. But you have to look after them and know what kind of fuel to use

An interesting article on Bennetts.co.uk, a motorcyle site https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/news-and-views/news/2020/march/what-is-e10-fuel-and-is-it-safe discussed the new fuel being seen in the UK now and already seen in other countries, which has a 10% volume of ethanol in it, an increase from the previous E5 which has 5% in it. So the basic fuel in the UK will have 10% and the super fuel will have 5%. As the article discusses, concern has only been given to cars and their ability to run on 10% ethanol fuel and not motorbikes so the article clarifies this and gets various motorcycle companies to discuss the implications of using this fuel on their bikes. Basically most modern motorcycles should be fine but older bikes need to be concerned and this should be checked with manufacturers what grade of fuel to use.

What is also interesting in the article though is the light it shines on the UK and other countries climate strategy and the agenda to phase out petrol and diesel cars in favour of electric cars and some of the dubious science to back that up, as part of the agenda to move toward net-zero emissions by 2050. This may lead to the further destruction of the economy as we know it and a state of permanment lockdown for those who can't afford their own form of carbon offsetting as everyone's carbon footprint will be monitored and monetized. 

In the article, it quotes the UK Transport Secretary:

"Announcing a new consultation on plans to replace the current normal ‘premium unleaded’ with a higher-ethanol E10 formulation, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The next 15 years will be absolutely crucial for slashing emissions from our roads, as we all start to feel the benefits of the transition to a zero-emission future.

“But before electric cars become the norm, we want to take advantage of reduced CO2 emissions today. This small switch to petrol containing bioethanol at 10% will help drivers across country reduce the environmental impact of every journey. Overall this could equate to about 350,000 cars being taken off our roads entirely.”

Now why and how can electric cars become the norm, when there isn't enough supply of Lithium and other minerals for everyone to have an electric car. And imagine all the disposal issues of old batteries and even now when plugging into the grid, how clean is the energy that produces the power. There are so many questions here, yet in the hysteria of "anthropogenic global warming" we are being sold a lie about the value of electric vehicles, not to mention rather crappy petrol.

To extract a few more interesting points in the article that challenges the government's own figures of the impact of this new fuel, the article states:

"The same document gives the impression that E10 is vastly better than normal petrol, saying: “Using bioethanol in place of fossil fuels can reduce CO2 emissions by around 65% for an equivalent volume of fossil fuel.”

Impressive though they sound, the numbers don’t actually give any perspective. So let’s try to add some here:

  • CO2 emissions from UK transport in 2018 totalled 121.4 megatonnes in 2018. That’s 121,400,000 tonnes. As such, if E10 could cut emissions by the maximum 700,000 tonne figure that the Government quotes, it will equate to a reduction in transport-based CO2 emissions of less than 0.6%. And of course, transport only accounts for a fraction of CO2 output. Government estimates put the UK’s total at 364.1 million tonnes in 2018, which means a 700,000 tonne reduction represents a reduction of less than 0.2%.
  • Taking other greenhouse gas emissions into account, the UK’s total output was equivalent to 448.5 million tonnes of C02 in 2018. That means that even with the best possible reduction associated with E10, it could only lead to a reduction of around 0.15%
  • Looking at the statement: “Using bioethanol in place of fossil fuels can reduce CO2 emissions by around 65% for an equivalent volume of fossil fuel,” the key part is the second half of the sentence: equivalent volume. Since E10 only increases the maximum ethanol volume by 5% over existing E5 fuel, its best possible reduction compared to the status quo is 65% of 5%, which is 3.25%.

While it’s true that every little helps, it’s worth noting that those numbers don’t take into account any CO2 emissions that might be associated with the growing, harvesting and production of ethanol, either.

On top of that, there’s the issue of fuel consumption. E10 fuel contains less energy than the same volume of E5 or pure petrol, and as a result engine’s burn more of it to achieve the same performance. Lab tests have shown that E10 increases fuel consumption by an average of 3% compared to current E5 fuels, and a test by What Car magazine in 2014 discovered fuel consumption rose by as much as 10% on some vehicles."

So that means fuel consumption INCREASES which may mean more tax for the government but questions the whole climate narrative in relation to the new fuel being rolled out. Recently in the UK, there was an apparent fuel shortage due to supply chain issues. Some speculation was made that this was being done to get rid of the old supplies of fuel so that the new fuel could be rolled in. Who knows!

So, if you own a motorbike, check out the article and see what kind of fuel you should be using in it, especially if you are riding vintage and other older bikes.


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