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S. Korea to raise proportion of biodiesel content in diesel fuel next year

All Headlines 11:00 December 27, 2009

SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to increase the proportion of biodiesel content in regular diesel fuel next year to help cut back on carbon dioxide emissions and reduce minute particles released into the atmosphere, the government said Sunday.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the proportion of plant and animal oil to be mixed with diesel fuel will be raised to 2.0 percent next year from 1.5 percent at present.

It said the government will also waive the oil tax of 529 won (US$0.45) per liter for diesel fuel next year due to the rise in biomass content.

Biodiesel is estimated to produce less greenhouse gas than common diesel fuel. It also releases smaller quantities of minute dust particles that have been cited as a weakness of diesel, which is more fuel-efficient than gasoline.

South Korea was the first Asian country to mix biodiesel with common diesel in July 2006. In 2007, the biomass content of diesel sold in the country stood at 0.5 percent. The total was raised to 1.0 percent the following year.

Biodiesel mixed with petroleum-based diesel can be used in regular diesel-engined cars without making any modifications.

The ministry in charge of the country's industrial and energy policy said that raising the biomass content to 2 percent will require the production of 390,000 kiloliters of biodiesel next year.

Seoul has been pushing for policies that will allow it to grow more plants that can produce biodiesel and has stepped up efforts to recycle vegetable-based cooking oil and animal fat waste.

It said plans are underway to increase the percentage of biodiesel to regular diesel to 5 percent after next year, and to push this up further to 20 percent levels down the road.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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