Re ECF Project: ECF 2015-38

Project Title: Study on the environmental benefits and obstacles of introducing auto bio-ethanol fuel in Hong Kong and development of implementation plan

Applicant: Professor Dennis YC LEUNG, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong

Total Approved Grant: $497,960 (ECF & WWGF: 50/50)

Duration: 1/4/2016 to 31/3/2017

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

The purpose of the study is to investigate the environmental benefits and obstacles of introducing bio-ethanol fuel for passenger cars in Hong Kong. Then, the remedial measures and appropriate implementation plan will be developed for the Hong Kong situation.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
The feasibility and prospects of introducing bioethanol as automotive fuel in Hong Kong was studied, and found that technically there is no difficulty to use bioethanol in Hong Kong provided that it is blended with gasoline at low percentage of E5 or E10. No additional infrastructure need to be constructed in existing gasoline. In terms of emissions, bioethanol can reduce conventional air pollutants but may increase volatile organic compounds emissions, although the absolute magnitude may be quite low. However, if small percentage of bioethanol is introduced, no significant impact would be envisaged. Results of the project suggest that Hong Kong can produce bioethanol locally using waste feedstock such as waste paper. The Life Cycle Assessment showed that significant amount of CO2 emission can be reduced in this way. Trial program can be run to get more experiences in using this clean biofuel before the introduction and full implementation of bioethanol into the Hong Kong market. Findings of the project were disseminated through presentation in an international conference on applied energy (JCAE 2017) in Cardiff in August 2017, and a technical seminar organized at the Headquarters of The Hong Kong Institute of Engineers in February 2018. Manuscripts were submitted to Energy Procedia and the SCI journal “Applied Energy”.