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26 May 2021

“Komsomolskaya Pravda”: Eco-friendly motor fuel will be no more expensive than regular gasoline

Alexander Motorkin, the leading specialist of the Production Technology Department of the Group of companies Titan talked about it. 
The conversation about new environmental technologies took place in the open studio of “Komsomolskaya Pravda” at the 12th International Forum “Ecology”. On May 24-25, dozens of experts gathered at the World Trade Center to discuss the present and future of ecology in Russia.
A separate discussion subject was the federal project “Clean Air” aimed at pollution abatement in large cities. In this regard, we asked Alexander, as a member of the Chemical Industry Committee of the All-Russian Public Organization “Delovaya Rossiya”, which areas of the project he considered the most promising.

- We are considering several options, all of which are equally effective,” Alexander Motorkin explained. - It is efficient use of nature resources, waste recycling. Another way is hazardous components phase-out. Now, due to modern technologies development it is possible to use analogues that are not inferior to hazardous substances in terms of their physical-chemical properties.

- Do you mean enterprises?

- Yes. A comprehensive problem in industries is component substitution, recycling and emissions related thereto.

- The project “Clean air formula” is being implemented in the GC Titan. Could you tell us more about it?

- The project is made in several stages. The first one has already been implemented. This is the process of removing methyl alcohol from consumption as much as possible, replacing it with isopropyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol, methanol is rather toxic alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is as similar as possible in characteristics to methyl alcohol, but does not have those harmful qualities that methyl alcohol involves. 

- Let's have the exact details. What was the methyl alcohol that you replaced used for?

- Methyl alcohol is quite widely used in industry - various cleaners, degreasers. It was used in Russia in antifreeze and in other different components. Now we will replace it with isopropyl alcohol. It does not accumulate in the body, has no convective cumulative effect like methyl alcohol and influences human health not so much with large consumption.

- Have you completely removed methyl alcohol from production?

- We are replacing it at the stages where it is possible now. Cosmetics, windscreen washing liquids.

- I would also like to ask you about eco-friendly motor fuel that the Group of companies Titan is developing. What is it, how is it used, applied?

- It’s our second stage. If the first one is the construction of isopropyl alcohol production unit, the second stage is methanol removal from consumption as much as possible.  Now the fuel additive is methyl tertiary butyl ether, it’s an octane-increasing additive, which allows to increase the octane number. Using ethanol in synthesis, we got ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE). This gives us reduction in emissions, particularly of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide (i.e. carbon monoxide). It will significantly increase environmental friendliness, reduce the emission of harmful substances into the air. There are now 15 cities in Russia with a million-plus population, and the problem of air pollution is very acute there. With small steps and upgrade we can significantly improve the situation simply by replacing a component that has a safe analogue with a higher quality, more advanced and more technological one.

- Is this fuel with ETBE component comparable with gasoline, in price for example?

- For the end consumer, the price will not be much higher, it will change a little, if at all. As environmental friendliness will be improved due to octane index increasing, i.e. specific fuel consumption will decrease with higher-performance fuel. If previously, gasoline of lower quality, i.e. compression ratio could be used more, now it will be used less, but at the same time the exhaust thereof and environmental load will become lower. In addition, we are planning to construct a plant for the production of bioethanol, on the basis of which we can already obtain biofuel.

- And what will this biofuel include, what will it be made of?

- It is supposed to be a deep grain processing plant, it means that the part of the grain not involved in agricultural production (low-grade grain) will be processed and turned into the so-called biofuel, including bioethanol. As a result, we will have a conceptually new wide range of environmentally friendly fuels, which will significantly improve the situation.

- As a matter of fact, it will be such an alternative to gasoline engines, electric motors, and people will be able to choose.

- Not as such. It is not an alternative, it is more advanced combustion engine fuel of a higher quality. That is to say, these are renewable sources of raw materials.

- Tell us, please, why all these steps aimed at air purification couldn’t be started 10 years ago? Or the technologies didn't allow to do it?

- Yes. At that time, it was expensive and not highly-demanded. In other words, it could only be used for presentation purposes. Now we are focused on mass introduction of this product across the country.

Source: "Komsomolskaya Pravda", 26.05.2021

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