HomeWorldUS promises to supply bioethanol to Japan, laggard in green fuels

US promises to supply bioethanol to Japan, laggard in green fuels


US officials are promoting bioethanol in Japan, which trails other nations in its use of the green fuel made from corn and other crops.

The United States is a major producer of corn, and an embassy official said the United States would be “a reliable supplier” of bioethanol.

“American ethanol is a powerful tool for Japan to address climate change, support consumers facing high prices, and strengthen energy security,” said Aaron Forsberg, Minister of Economic Affairs at the US Embassy, ​​in a statement. conference center in Tokyo.

The US-Japan cooperation on biofuels is part of a broader partnership between President Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on defense, technology and climate change.

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A workshop in Tokyo on Wednesday provided an opportunity for the Japanese government, academics and industry representatives to learn more about bioethanol from US experts.

Women leave Tokyo’s train station in the rain on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. A deadly tropical storm that dumped heavy rain as it passed through Japan plunged into the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, paralyzing traffic and leaving thousands of homes Without eleectricity.
(AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

Bioethanol can be fueled for vehicles and aircraft and offers a cleaner alternative to petroleum.

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Compared to countries like the US and Brazil, where bioethanol is commonly used, Japan is catching up. The need for alternative fuels has become more pressing with the war in Ukraine and concerns about rising oil prices and climate change.

A local resident walks past a house destroyed by Russian bombardment in Kramatorsk, Ukraine.  Two Americans were reportedly killed in the country.

A local resident walks past a house destroyed by Russian bombardment in Kramatorsk, Ukraine. Two Americans were reportedly killed in the country.
(AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

Japan imports almost all of its oil, as well as its bioethanol. Japan has denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but has yet to eliminate its imports of Russian oil, as it has promised.

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“Japan has set itself an important goal to be carbon neutral by 2050,” Yuki Sadamitsu, director-general of the Department of Natural Resources and Fuels at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told the workshop.

Corn and laboratory equipment.  Concept for biofuel research.

Corn and laboratory equipment. Concept for biofuel research.
(iStock)

Boosting the use of bioethanol will be crucial to achieving that goal, Sadamitsu added.

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Forsberg noted that Japan ranked among the lowest in the world for its ethanol-gasoline blending rate, at around 1.7%. Forsberg urged Japan to increase that to 3%, noting that there was “ample room to grow.”

In this Oct. 5, 2021, file photo, cargo ships are seen anchored offshore, sharing space with oil rigs, before heading to the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach.  A group of environmental organizations is demanding that the Biden administration suspend and terminate oil and gas leases in federal waters off the California coast following a recent crude oil spill.  The Center for Biological Diversity and about three dozen organizations submitted a petition on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, to the Department of the Interior, arguing that it has the authority to terminate these leases.

In this Oct. 5, 2021, file photo, cargo ships are seen anchored offshore, sharing space with oil rigs, before heading to the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach. A group of environmental organizations is demanding that the Biden administration suspend and terminate oil and gas leases in federal waters off the California coast following a recent crude oil spill. The Center for Biological Diversity and about three dozen organizations submitted a petition on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, to the Department of the Interior, arguing that it has the authority to terminate these leases.
(AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)

The US can show how to make the mix while maintaining vehicle compatibility and discuss the costs and benefits, as well as providing a steady supply, he said.

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“As Japan updates its biofuels policy for transportation over the next few years, we look forward to sharing our experience in expanding the use of biofuels,” Forsberg said.

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