China, the world’s second-largest corn consumer, is set to resume building new corn-based ethanol plants after a nearly decade-long ban, in a move that could help absorb the country’s record stocks, industry sources said.
Beijing barred corn-based ethanol in late 2006 on concerns over food security at a time of rising domestic corn prices. China has since shifted to using sorghum, cassava and other non-grains to make ethanol, but expansion has been limited by a shortage of non-grain feed stocks.
Reviving corn-based ethanol would use up damaged stocks, while expanding production of the cleaner fuel could help reduce pollution, analysts and researchers said.
China’s Centre for International Economic Exchanges, a state-backed think-tank. has proposed to top leaders the use of ethanol-blended gasoline in the capital of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei to help reduce car emissions, which are blamed for serious air pollution.