There are a couple of interesting articles in the news that Iran is set to begin production of ethanol. The first article talks about Iran's plans to produce ethanol from waste crops.
Iran plans to produce bio-ethanol, an environment-friendly fuel that has the potential to provide impressive engine performance results.
An Iranian official has revealed that the oil ministry is to sign an accord in this regard with the Iranian association of ethanol producers.
“The project to produce bio-ethanol is to start in the next three months,” said the head of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, Ali Ameri.
The second article is one that I read yesterday but is now only available by subscription but the title pretty much says it all.
Iran in search for E5 bio-gasoline
Iran is under a host of sanctions because of their nuclear program and is looking for ways to increase their energy security. Even though Iran has plenty of oil they don't have enough refining capacity to supply their needs for finished petroleum products. So they must import a portion of their gasoline and that is where sanctions could hurt them. The production of ethanol would add to their fuel supply and give them greater security against sanctions.
Every year we import about 60% of the petroleum we use and because of that we are vulnerable to the actions of other countries. If an oil rich country like Iran can see the value in ethanol for increasing their energy security why is it that some in this country can't?