Bioethanol is an alternative or supplement to gasoline (petrol) and has become established as an alternative motor fuel due to cost advantages or policy mandates. As a fuel, bioethanol can be used in the pure form or via blending to conventional gasoline.
Flexi-fuel vehicles have been developed where both gasoline and bioethanol can be used for a range of blending percentages going up to even 100% bioethanol.
Future ethanol projects need to address regional conditions (climate, soil quality, employment and infrastructure) in order to prove viable and sustainable. Fuel ethanol feedstock production sites should not compete with food production areas.
Live Energies, along with partners did a proof of concept project on feedstock production from unused wasteland for bioethanol. The crop evaluated was cassava (Manihot esculenta). Our personnel were involved in the project conception and in the planning and management of the same. The project was carried out in Madagascar. The project could prove that cassava can be produced profitably on wastelands with acidic soils of very low fertility. The profitability calculation took into account the cost of production per tonne required to enable competitive ethanol production. Concepts for both centrally managed plantations and an out-grower model were elaborated. Detailed agronomic information on the tuber productivity and optimised plantation management techniques were generated for a very low level of mechanisation.