Syndicat National des Producteurs d'Alcool Agricole

Chiffres clés


⇒France is the top European manufacturer of ethyl alcohol accounting for 32% of output in Europe, double that of Germany which ranks second. Two thirds of French output is used in the biofuel market (bioethanol) while the remaining third goes to more classic applications (drinks, perfume, pharmaceuticals and other industries).

France exports 30% of the ethanol it produces for fuel, mostly to Germany.

⇒French bioethanol is manufactured almost exclusively from plant materials of French origin including beet, feed wheat and corn, as well as residues from sugar and starch processing, and wine-making.

Biomass is processed to produce alcohol at industrial plants and biorefineries, including sugar refineries and starch mills, with synergetic outlets in foodstuffs for human consumption, animal feed, biobased chemicals and materials and energy. These industrial plants are paving the way to future developments.

The French bioethanol industry accounts for 8,900 jobs, generating many more in related sectors.

⇒A single sugar beet can yield sugar for human consumption, pulp for animal feed and alcohol for drinks, biobased products, fuel and even biobased CO2 on occasion.

A single grain of wheat can yield starch for human consumption and other applications, protein (grains) for animal feed and alcohol for drinks, biobased products, fuel, and sometimes biobased carbon dioxide (CO2).

A single grain of corn can yield protein (grains) for animal feed, alcohol for fuel and biobased CO2 for carbonated soft drinks.

The production of bioethanol and food by-products accounts for 1% of French farmland.

Les matières premières

⇒French bioethanol saves over 50% CO2 compared to fossil fuel, according to life cycle analysis studies. In all, the use of French bioethanol saves 1 million tonnes of CO2 a year compared to fossil fuel, equivalent to 500,000 cars with zero CO2 emissions.

SP95 and SP98 contain up to 7.5% ethanol a litre (pure or as a derivative)

SP95-E10 contains up to 10% ethanol a litre (6.7% in energy). It accounted for 35,5% of the petrol market in 2016. The introduction on 1 January 2016 of an extra 2-cent tax break on SP95-E10 compared to SP95 and SP98 has led to an average price difference of 4 to 5 cents with SP95 at the same petrol station. As a result, E10 increased its market share to 39,3% in January 2017.

SP95-E10 can power 97% of vehicles on the roads today.

The number of filling-stations serving Superethanol-E85 (65% to 85% ethanol) has soared from 300 to over 900 in three years, priced at an average €0.69/litre in January 2017.

Two vehicle manufacturers now market flexfuel models (for E85) in France: Volkswagen and Jeep. The French Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea is in the process of currently approving flexfuel kits (both equipment and fitters). Once fitted with this equipment, many petrol-powered vehicles will be able to run on Superethanol E85.

A new fuel containing 95% ethanol, called ED95, was authorised in France in February 2016. ED95 has been introduced especially for buses and coaches with compression-ignition engines running only on this fuel, and improves air quality and reduces CO2 emissions.

The pollution tax target for the petrol sector is 7% in energy of which 0.5% products counting double. The level of incorporation stood at 6.5% in 2015. The European target is for each country to have at least 10% of transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020.