US ethanol group sees biofuel opportunity in BP oil spill

15 June 2010 05:42  [Source: ICIS news]

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (ICIS news)--The environmental disaster caused by the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico represents an opportunity for the ethanol sector to leverage the value of its product over crude oil, an industry group said on Monday.

"One of the areas of fuel ethanol that we have failed to really promote has been the fact that our fuel is totally biodegradable," said Dave Vander, a board member of ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy.

Vander cited the loss of the ethanol tanker Bow Mariner off the US coast in 2004, contrasting that incident with the environmental damage resulting from the BP gusher in the Gulf.

The ship went down off the coast of Virginia with more than 3m gal of ethanol on board, but the incident did not even make the front page of newspapers, he said at the opening of the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ethanol is friendly to environment from the standpoint of emissions and biodegradability, Vander said.

"We think it is time to spread the message," he said, calling the BP spill a case of "significant ecological damage”.

Growth Energy argues that increased use of ethanol not only helps the environment, it also creates jobs in the US and helps reduce dependence on foreign crude oil.

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By: William Lemos
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