Ethanol is added to our diesel and petrol. Ethanol damages engines. There is even an independent report commisioned by government (here) that confirms this (don’t be put off by the title, it’s the conclusions 6.1.1 and 6.3 on page 41 that are so worrying).
‘E10’ in the report refers to the 10% ethanol that the EU says must be added to our fuel by 2013. Currently we add up to 5%, an amount that is already causing damage by rusting fuel tanks, corroding other metal parts and rotting rubber seals.
The topic isn’t sexy enough for the media, and yet the addition of 10% ethanol will be on us before we know it (the year after next!)
As I’ve mentioned before, the addition of ethanol to fuel doesn’t just affect cars. There are tens of thousands of mowers, cultivators, boats, tractors, excavators, emergency generators and other kinds of machinery out there that stand to be (and are already being) damaged by ethanol addition.
The EU directive is a good example of politicians shooting from the hip and failing to commission proper research before making world-altering decisions. Not only is ethanol damaging engines, it is destroying the environment in so many ways. The article here is more than four years old. Since it was written, more and more arable land is being turned over to growing crops for fuel, and the destruction of rainforest for ethanol production is well under way.