Across the EU, renewable ethanol producers are actively involved in the effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Even as they continue to deliver the necessary volumes of fuel ethanol, refineries are shifting some production from biofuels to ethyl alcohol for use as a disinfectant and hand sanitizers, and producers are working with national governments and the EU to ensure increased production and maintain supply chains.
Examples from around the EU include:
In all countries, producers are appealing to officials to grant temporary derogations under the Biocidal Product Regulation and use undenatured alcohol as a disinfectant. Authorities in Germany, France and Austria have approved technical alcohol for use in disinfection.
Local production of ethanol is an important part of the EU bioeconomy, processing European agricultural feedstock – crops, wastes and residues – into low-carbon fuel and high-protein animal feed as well as applications for food and beverage and disinfectant uses.
At the same time, biofuels must still play an important role in EU transport decarbonisation. ePURE joined with other sectors in the Biofuels Value Chain in writing to the European Commission about the potential impact of the production of biofuels and animal feed. The signatories asked the Commission not to undo policies that support transport decarbonisation and EU food security.
“Locally produced, renewable ethanol is an important agricultural product and part of the European bioeconomy, and we stand in solidarity with public health officials, health care providers and local authorities working to contain the virus,” said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General of ePURE.
“One lesson from this situation is that all countries must realise how important it is to be self-sufficient in the production of essential items such as food, animal feed and energy. We believe it is crucial to maintain a solid network of European ethanol biorefineries going forward.”
photo © Verbio