From: The age.com.au - 03/08/2008
Australian motorists are changing their petrol-buying habits, with cheaper and more environmentally friendly ethanol-blended fuel growing in popularity.
APAC Biofuel Consultants has released its annual report showing that the biofuel sector is currently contributing about 3,000 barrels per day to the Australian transport fuel supply.
This is just over 50 per cent of the way to meeting the 350 million litres per year target by 2010, set by the previous federal government.
"The number of retail outlets selling ethanol blend has increased three-fold over the past two years, concentrating in Queensland and New South Wales and to a lesser extent in South Australia and Victoria," APAC Consultants joint chief executive officer Mike Cochran said.
He said there had been a three-fold increase in ethanol-blended petrol sales over the past 12 months.
While traditional fuels originate from oil, biofuels are partly from biological sources.
Mr Cochran told AAP ethanol-blended petrol was 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent petrol, sold for about two cents less than standard petrol and was a cleaner burning fuel.
Biodiesel is produced using oils like canola or palm and is blended with diesel.
Asked to explain the growing popularity of biofuels, Mr Cochran said: "Price would be a contributor but I think people are interested in being more environmental about their fuels and also promoting an alternative source of fuel".
Ethanol-blended petrol can be used in most vehicles manufactured after 1985, while most diesel vehicles can use a mix of five per cent biodiesel mixed with normal diesel.