No, it’s not something you drink on a Friday night. It’s actually a type of gas you put in your car. Gasohol is a motor fuel blend of gas and ethanol. Gasohol is sold in 91 octane and 95 octane varieties in Thailand. They are made up of 90% regular gasoline and 10% ethanol. This may also be written as E10.
Ethanol is the same as the alcohol that you drink as the main ingredient in beer, spirits and wine. It is made from rice, wheat, barley, sugar cane, potatoes, corn and other bio sources. Ethanol has a very high octane level, which is why the octane rating of gasohol is higher than regular gasoline. In Thailand, palm, coconut, sugar cane and other locally grown crops are used in ethanol production for use as motor fuel.
Gasohol has several benefits over regular gasoline because of its unique blend with ethanol.
- It’s cheaper! You can save a few baht or so per liter using gasohol instead of regular gasoline.
- It’s greener! Compare to regular gasoline, gasohol emits less carbon dioxide, benzene, butadiene and sulphur dioxide. A little better for the world and your health.
- It’s cleaner! Aside from being cleaner for the environment, gasohol also helps to keep car engines cleaner by reducing build up of residue in the fuel system.
- It’s higher performance! Since the ethanol in gasohol raises the octane level as mentioned above, gasohol has higher performance than regular gasoline at the same octane rating. It also reduces engine “knocking” and your car will run more smoothly.
- It’s local! Gasohol is produced right here in Thailand and thus reduces Thailand’s need for oil. Also, ethanol production for the energy sector creates economic growth in the argicultural sector and related industries.
- It doesn’t freeze! Not very useful in Thailand, but the ethanol in gasohol also prevents the fuel from freezing in the fuel system.
Most cars manufactured in the last 10 years are suitably equipped to run on E10 gasohol. Car manufactures today are designing cars that are able to run on E20. In Thailand, Ford released the Ford Focus with a 1.8 liter engine that can run on E20 fuel. Ford is leading the pack when it comes to ethanol engine technology and the use of gasohol as an efficient motor fuel. They have a different version of the Focus which is equipped with a Flexi-Fuel system that is able to run on E85. As Thailand expands its production for ethanol and Thai motorists increase use of gasohol, we can expect to see car companies and the Thai government offering more incentives and value to using environmentally friendly fuel options.