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Home BUSINESSBiofuel vehicles coming in vogue
Wed, 13 Jan, 2016 12:06:48 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Jan 13
The price of petroleum products at a refueling station in Helsinki. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The popularity of cars running on biofuel is growing and can still grow further, believes an expert. Flexifuel cars use E85 biofuel, which is 80-85 per cent ethanol.
“Legislation allowing the installation of biofuel converters suitable for older vehicles has just passed, so in the coming years, there are likely to be more older cars using biofuel,” said Automobile Importers’ Association technical expert Sami Peuranen.
According to the transport safety agency Trafi, at the end of September 2015, there were more than 3,400 Flexifuel cars running on Finnish roads.
In comparison, for the full year 2015, there were more than 146,000 new motor vehicles registered in Finland.
Motorists’ prejudices play a crucial role in promoting the use of biofuels. Ethanol does not differ much from regular gasoline.
“Ethanol works worse than regular gasoline in cold temperatures, so at very cold temperatures, a high blend of ethanol can cause starting difficulties. Once the engine is started, however, there is no difference in running ethanol or conventional petrol,” said Peuranen.
At the end of this year in Kajaani, the world’s first ethanol plant that uses sawdust as raw material will come into operations. 
The plant’s production of 10 million litres per year will fill up Finnish gas tanks either as a bio-component of regular gasoline or as E85 fuel for Flexifuel cars.
The Kajaani plant’s owners ST1 Biofuels do not plan to throttle back.
“We have so much wood available. We’re now searching for new locations for our next plants, which will produce about 50 million litres [per year]. We’re looking for two different locations,” said Managing Director Mika Aho.
The first registrations for cars that run on alternative power increased last year by 40 per cent, Trafi said. 
This includes Flexifuel cars, as well as electric, hybrid and other biofuel cars.
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