Here's the address for the response:
And this is what I've written. Feel free to copy/paste or borrow!
I write in response to your proposals for the introduction of E10 petrol to the UK road fuel market. While I appreciate the need to clean the UKs air and reduce carbon emissions, I contend that adding greater quantities of ethanol to petrol is not the correct approach and object to the introduction of E10 fuel.
Motorcycle owners and mechanics will tell you that current levels of ethanol in petrol are already too high: the issue of plastic fuel tanks, pipes and carburettors being damaged or destroyed by ethanol is well documented. Similarly, when machines are laid up, the water absorbed by ethanol causes problems when they are recommissioned.
The issue goes beyond motorcycling. Many mainstream cars have fuel systems unsuitable for E10, and it will cause serious problems for the owners of historic vehicles. It also impacts on garden and forestry machinery: any petrol-driven machine that is only occasionally used or has a plastic fuel tank is likely to be adversely effected by this fuel.
A further concern is that the declining number of filling stations in the UK are already under pressure to provide a wider range of fuels from a limited number of pump positions. LPG, CNG, and even electricity, are joining diesel and petrol as mainstream fuel choices. There is a real risk that pumps and tanks currently dispensing clean-burning Super Unleaded petrol will be switched to E10.
It is disturbing that E10 is being billed as environmentally-friendly. Ethanol is essentially fake green fuel. The Governments enthusiasm for it is unwarranted.
http://www.greenpeace.org/austria/Globa ... l_2011.pdf
A tonne of CO2 generated by the combustion of ethanol has exactly the same climate impact as a tonne of CO2 generated by the combustion of petrol or diesel. But the production of ethanol from plant matter, particularly where tropical rainforests are cleared to make way for commercial crops, actually removes natural carbon sinks from the environment, and the associated habitat damage is devastating. The ethics of switching agricultural land away from food production to road fuel so some dubious target can be met are highly questionable.
Users of fuels with increased ethanol content report a commensurate increase in fuel consumption: to which wastage must be added all the spoiled fuel that will be thrown away, and the resultant increase in emissions of unburned hydrocarbons to the atmosphere.
I, like many others, am now purchasing fuel additives to mitigate the worst effects of ethanol in petrol. These additives are in themselves probably environmentally harmful, but there is little option.
If the Government wishes to make a real improvement in air quality through road fuel, then it should consider mandating hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a replacement for diesel. This is made from vegetable or animal waste, and can be used in most modern diesel vehicles in any concentration up to 100 per cent. There a genuine reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its use, and an additional improvement in air quality because as a synthetic fuel it has cleaner combustion qualities than mineral diesel. Its manufacture also removes potentially damaging material from the waste stream, and using it to replace diesel will be more effective than any tinkering with the content of petrol because far more diesel than petrol is burned as road fuel.