E10 - fuel for climate protection and secure energy supply
E10 has been offered as a new grade of automotive fuel at German filling stations since 2011. It is the designation for petrol fuel that can contain up to 10 vol.-% of bioethanol. "E" stands for ethanol and the number "10" for the bioethanol content in the fuel.
In Europe, E10 is available in Germany, France, Finland and the Benelux countries. On January 1, 2020, it was introduced in Denmark, the Slovak Republic and Hungary. In the US, however, E10 has been available since the 1970s and it is the standard petrol today.
Advantages of E10
Bioethanol in E10 substitutes fossil fuel and therefore it makes an important contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70% compared to fossil fuels and its production is based on renewable agricultural raw materials grown sustainably here, in Europe. CO2 savings and sustainable production are regularly examined by independent experts according to a governmentally approved certification system.
In addition, test bench tests commissioned by the German bioethanol association BDBe have shown that E10 not only saves greenhouse gases. Compared with Super E5, nitrogen oxide emissions are reduced by an average of 25 percent and particulate matter emissions by more than 70 percent.
The bulk of the bioethanol used for blending in Germany is produced in the EU. Thereby they reduce the dependence on imported energy and at the same strengthen rural structures by creating a new domestic branch of industry.
Conflicting statements about the suitability of E10 for certain types of vehicles have led to confusion among customers. According to the ADAC, the German Automobile Association, auto manufacturers have issued clearances for E10 for over 90% of the petrol engine vehicles in Germany, i.e. these vehicles can run on E10. Newer models can even be powered with E20, petrol with an ethanol content of up to 20%. Lists for all makes of vehicle showing the models that can run on E10 can be obtained from the ADAC or from Deutscher Automobil Treuhand.
No increased consumption
Due to its higher oxygen content, the bioethanol added to E10 has a lower energy content than petrol. Therefore, one liter of Super E10 has 1.5 percent less energy in purely mathematical terms. However, the higher oxygen content of ethanol actually increases the efficiency of the combustion process. In short, ethanol increases the efficiency of the petrol engine. The sum of both effects is essentially equal (with a spread of +-1%), but is accompanied by significantly lower CO2 emissions. This effect has not only been described in scientific studies, but has also been proven in test bench tests, the last of which was carried out in 2019 on behalf of the German bioethanol association BDBe with five cars of different vehicle classes. There was actually no increase in fuel consumption. On the contrary: the cars consumed on average the same amount of fuel as with Super E5.
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