Europe’s air pollution problem
A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) reveals that fine particulate matter pollution causes the premature deaths of 400,000 people every year in the EU – with road transport one of the main culprits. According to the EEA study, fine particulate pollution is notably high in the EU, and is linked to diesel vehicle exhaust with over 80% of Europe’s urban population being exposed to concentrations above World Health Organization guidelines.
One way to reduce this urban air pollution linked to vehicle exhaust is through higher blends of ethanol in fuel. A study recently published by the European Commission confirmed that increasing the amount of ethanol in petrol blends – for example from 5% to 10% or 20% – would have a positive effect on vehicle emissions and air quality and help reduce reliance on fossil petroleum products. And another study conducted in Brazil found that reducing ethanol blends in fuel led to higher levels of particulate matter in vehicle exhaust.
These results reinforce the need for public policies to encourage the use of biofuels like renewable European ethanol – to make an immediate impact on air quality and also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable European ethanol use decreases emissions of pollutants like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulates, and delivers 66% average greenhouse gas savings over fossil petrol.
Find out more about the benefits of ethanol for your engine here.