China has been producing shining transcripts to the world in economic development over the past decades, however, this comes at a huge price of environment pollution. Some major industrial cities in northwestern part of the country are often choked by dirty air, especially in winter, haze can stay there to daunt a city for several months. According to statics, the top 10 worst polluted cities in 2017 have a PM 2.5 concentration ranging from around 100 to 130 microgramme/ cubic meter, with Xingtai, Baoding and Shijiazhuang of North China’s Hebei Province sitting at the top three. The four major pollution sources are fire coal, industrial emission,vehicle emission and flying dust.
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Pollution on such a scale poses a serious danger to people’s health and sustainable social and economic development. The government has resolved to meet the challenge and released a series of policies on green development.
Driven by relevant action plans, clean and green energy industry has gained growth momentum. It has already created over 1 million jobs, and is expected to create more as the government ramps up production of biofuels, targeting first transportation sector. China has now become the world’s third largest ethanol producer. Ethanol is made from such crops as corn and sugar cane. When mixed with petroleum, they produce E10, a biofuel consisting of 10 percent of ethanol and 90 percent of petroleum. The government’s plan is to make E10 petrol available at gas stations across the country by 2020.
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China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), China’s biggest oil refiner, is constructing a biodiesel plant in Shanghai city. The plant will refine a kind of mix containing 5 percent of used cooking oil and 95 percent of diesel and provide the finished product, named B5, at 200 of its gas stations in the city.
Analysts say Sinopec’s engagement in the biofuel market is significant for the industry. E10 and B5 are literally biofuels, they are renewable and environmentally friend in that it reduces vehicular exhaust, given the huge number of cars running on China’s roads.
According to the IEA, they place their hopes high to replace a substantial amount petroleum with ethanol and biodiesel.
Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, an economist with the Economic Research Institute, said the growing production of biofuels in Asia is also driven by increasing oil price on global markets. He also suggests Asia upgrade the industry, both its raw materials and producing technologies. Materials of the first-generation of biofuel are agricultural feedstocks,vegetable oils and animal fats, he advises the industry to look to non-food stocks,micro-algae for the second-generation biofuel.
Another factor for shifting energy mix is the market potential of electric vehicles. Zhai Yongping, a technical adviser at the Asian Development Bank in Manila said, biofuels should play a role in the global energy mix. When the global oil price stood at $100 a barrel, biofuels were an economical alternative, say, sold for around $ 70 a barrel.
According to IEA, global biofuel production grew by only 2 percent (140 billion liters) in 2017, it is expected the average annual growth rate for the next five years to reach about 3 percent.
China has set itself the goal of nationwide use of ethanol by 2020, and large-scale production of cellulose ethanol and advanced biofuel technologies by 2025, manifesting its firm resolve in energy mix optimization and pollution control.