For the last two months, 50 fueling stations in the Toyko area have been marketing bio-gasoline, which is gasoline with some bio-ethyl tertiary butyl ether (bio-ETBE) blended in. Cost to the consumer and how the fuel can be used are the same as with standard gasoline, and the environmental upshot is a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of three percent in vehicles that use bio-gasoline.

But here's the thing: the bio-ETBE was made in France and shipped to Tokyo. Japan for Sustainability says that about 1,000 stations will be selling bio-ETBE by fiscal 2009 and then most stations throughout Japan will follow suit in fiscal 2010. But there's no mention that production will shift to Japan by that time. Is it really worth a three percent CO2 reduction to ship fuel across the planet?

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment is also working on standardizing E3 for the country's gasoline supply.

[Source: Japan for Sustainability]

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