New type of petrol at Belgian filling stations next year

The classic "Super 95" petrol will no longer be available at Belgian filling stations as from next year. It will be replaced by E10, which contains 10 percent bio-ethanol. E10 will be a bit more expensive, and will not be fit for petrol cars built before 2000.

Belgian is following a European directive. The measure should also help to achieve the goal set by the federal government to generate 10 percent sustainable energy from 2020.

E10 is a mixture of the classic Super 95 and bio-ethanol. The price will be 1 to 3 eurocent above the present price for a litre of Super 95. There is no problem for recent cars to make the switch, but cars built before 2000 will have to switch to the more expensive version of Super 95, i.e. Super 98. Nothing will change for diesel cars.

How environment-friendly is bio-ethanol, which is being distilled from grains and corn? Critics say it's not a big improvement to make the switch. "Since 2009, there has been 4 percent of ethanol in petrol. Nobody has had a problem with that. I bet many didn't even know petrol already contained ethanol", says Hendrik Lemahieu of the Belgian bio-ethanol association.

The corn which is grown for the purpose, can help to reduce emission gases. At the same time, the part of the corn that is not being used for the fuel, is not lost. One third is a substance rich in proteins which are used for animal feed.