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Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


The northern city of Tieling is scaling up corn-based ethanol production to provide Chinese consumers with biofuel to reduce transport emissions in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

A new production facility in the city of Tieling, eight hours north-west of Beijing, is helping to meet the PRC’s targets for biofuel consumption. Via a series of complex reactions starting with corn, the facility produces 300,000 tons of ethanol fuel, 276,300 tons of high-protein livestock feed, and 20,000 tons of corn oil every year.



The ethanol produced can be mixed with regular gasoline for a cleaner-burning transportation fuel, which the PRC government is prioritizing as a target to improve urban air quality. The country has said it would require gasoline supplies nationwide to be blended with 10% ethanol by 2020 (also known as E10 fuel, common elsewhere in the EU and US), which would require production of around 15 million tons of the biofuel annually.

Corn fuel can be mixed with gasoline to produce a cleaner transport fuel (photo by ADB).

The Challenge

The corn-based ethanol production is helping to address the province’s backlog of corn, the hoarding of aged grain, and farmers’ logistics and storage expenditure.


Economic The increased demand for corn will improve the outlook for local farmers around Tieling.

Health Utilizing E10 fuel can reduce polluting particulate emissions from tailpipes by around 20%, helping to improve air quality.