26 March 2013

E-10 Fuel To Be Implemented on April 2013

E10 gasoline
The headline right now may be dominated by showbiz personalities fighting each other for their own personal rights to happiness, but after the Holy Week, attention will probably shift focus on the country’s Energy Sector.

Barring any major policy changes, the Department of Energy (DOE) will probably release an implementing circular guideline which mandates the use of ten percent ethanol, or E-10 for short, on ALL gasoline products sold and used in cars and vehicles.

For the non-drivers out there, including those not familiar with gasoline mixtures, ethanol is an alcohol which is distilled from fermented agricultural crops such as wheat and sugar cane. At present, regular gasoline is sold with five percent ethanol blend while some variants are exempted from ethanol blending, such as Shell’s V-Power and Petron’s Blaze.

However, in compliance with the mandate of Republic Act 9367, otherwise known as the Bio-Fuels Act, all motorists and gasoline users have no choice but to use E-10 once the DOE issues the necessary circular.

Aside from the circular on E-10, oil companies also need to deal DOE Circular on the new Philippine National Standards (PNS). The PNS will set the minimum Research Octane Number (RON) to 91 in compliance with another law, the Clean Air Act. This will be discussed in another article later.

At present, most new vehicle models effectively operate on petrol with up to 10 percent ethanol. Vehicle manufacturers and importers have provided the information in the car manual below regarding the capability of their vehicles to operate on ethanol fuel blends, subject to the fuel meeting the octane requirements for the vehicle and complying with relevant mandatory fuel quality standards.

To avoid operational issues, vehicles should be maintained in accordance with manufacturer's servicing procedures using genuine replacement parts. This will ensure that the fuel systems of vehicles continue to operate as designed on ethanol blend fuels.