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Turkey halts ethanol-mixed fuel for more disinfectants

March 14, 2020 at 2:22 pm

A health officer wearing protective suit sprays disinfectant at a Melike Hatun Mosque ahead of Friday prayer as a precaution against the coronavirus in Ankara, Turkey on 13 March 2020. [Doğukan Keskinkılıç – Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s temporary suspension of the requirement to include ethanol in gasoline will provide an additional 20,000 cubic meter ethanol capacity for the production of disinfectants and colognes in the country, Anadolu reports.

Cologne is a traditional ethanol-based scented disinfectant in Turkey.

The precautionary move in order to help stem the coronavirus outbreak came after Turkey announced coronavirus cases this week.

The regulation of blending ethanol produced from domestic agricultural products with gasoline was first introduced in 2013 to comply with renewable energy policies, reduce import dependency in energy and support the agricultural sector, according to Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority.

The percentage of ethanol blended with gasoline types was raised to 3% from 2% in 2014.

On Friday, Turkey scrapped the requirement to include ethanol in gasoline for three months in a bid to boost disinfectant production in the country as a measure against the spread of coronavirus.

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After the first case was announced earlier this week, Turkey confirmed four more coronavirus cases on Friday, raising the tally to five.

The country has taken several measures to stem the virus such as temporarily closing schools and universities, halting events and public activities, postponing foreign visits, barring spectators at sports events, and subjecting protective products to export controls.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 129 countries and territories.

The global death toll is now nearly 5,400, with more than 142,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has declared the outbreak a global pandemic.