More information on Conservo
Posted by Car Geek on July 9, 2007
Since the story was first published, we’ve had a lot of interest in Melbourne’s Conservo petrol station. Conservo markets itself as a “green” service station, offering biofuel blends and organic products. For people looking to find it and take a look for themselves, the service station is located in High St, Prahran, near Swinburne University. Read on for more details of what it offers and some photographs.
Three types of fuel are on offer: E10 (also known as “Unleaded 94″), B20 biodiesel and B100 (or pure) biodiesel. The E10 petrol is offered by Liberty, and the biodiesel is provided by Energetix. Almost any car after made after 1986, or that uses electronic fuel injection, can run on E10; any diesel-powered vehicle can use B20 and most can use B100, though Conservo recommends that you consult with them before filling up on B100 to make sure.
Prices for these biofuels are similar to current petrol prices, with the unleaded E10 about two or three cents cheaper than the average price in the area on the day we visited. Diesel was approximately the same price as the biodiesel blends on this particular day.
So is it worth buying? The organic components of these fuels, at least, are Australian made and require far less energy to transport than fuel shipped from overseas. Conservo doesn’t publicise the specific environmental benefits of their fuels, but you can expect to reduce greenhouse gas lifecycle emissions by up to 4% for E10, up to 8.7% for B20 and up to 29% for B100, according to the Prime Minister’s Biofuel Taskforce. These figures are approximate based on the known sources for Conservo’s biofuels. Air pollutants can also be reduced, with all biofuels reducing CO, VOC and particulate matter emissions, though NOx is increased slightly. Additionally, you can expect a slight drop in fuel economy (approximately no more than 5%) with E10 due to its lower energy content, though this is offset entirely by the reduced cost.
In short, while it’s not about to change the world, it’s a good step forward to see businesses like this appearing in high-traffic areas. Other petrol stations are starting to offer the same products, so it’s worth taking a look around your local area to see if a more environmentally friendly option is available to you.
Correction: The emissions figures are for total lifecycle emissions, not tailpipe emissions as previously stated. Tailpipe greenhouse gas reductions are estimated to be 7%, 21.6% and 98.9% for E10, B20 and B100, respectively. The difference between tailpipe and lifecycle emissions is attributed to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of the biodiesel from canola and tallow.