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Eni and FCA develop A20: 15% methanol, 5% ethanol high-octane gasoline blend

Within the scope of an agreement signed in November 2017 (earlier post), Eni and FCA have developed “A20”, a new fuel with a low level of emissions due to its 15% methanol and 5% bio-ethanol alcohol content. By harnessing its low carbon content, bio component and high octane number (RON 100), the new alternative fuel emits up to 3% less in CO2 exhaust emissions quantified using the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedures (WLTP).


The blend was designed to reduce direct and indirect CO2 emissions and is compatible with the majority of gasoline cars sold from 2001 onwards—accounting for more than 60% of the gasoline cars in Italy—equivalent to approximately 12 million vehicles.


An initial test run of five Fiat 500s from the Eni Enjoy fleet in Milan ended successfully a few weeks ago. The cars were rented out around 9,000 times and travelled for 50 thousand kilometers during the 13 months of the test without experiencing any problems, demonstrating a reduction in emissions and better performance as a result of the high octane number.


Eni and FCA are working to improve the A20 formula further by increasing the amount of hydrocarbon components from renewable sources with a view to further reducing well-to-wheel CO2 emissions.



3% improvement?  Is that all?

You'd think that much greater improvments would be available from e.g. using non-fermentation cellulosic methanol.


@EP, it says 15% methanol and 5% bioethanol.
Does this mean that the methanol is not from a biologic source, and thus we should count the CO2 in it?
Not really clear.
As you say, a 3% reduction in co2 is not much of a deal.
Maybe they are just trying to get around the European CO2 directives by using fuel as well as engine improvements.


They might be able to get a better measurement of fossil-carbon intensity by measuring the C-14/C-12 ratio.  Only non-fossil carbon has significant C-14.

Part of the problem with "bio" ethanol is the large amount of fossil fuel involved in growing maize (particularly in fixing nitrogen) and distillation.  Other agrochemicals and farm equipment are relatively minor contributors, as I recall.  Methanol is much easier to make from non-food biomass than ethanol, as Range Fuels discovered.  If the methanol in the A20 came from crop byproducts, the net CO2 reduction would be much greater.

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