Biofuel: Sustainable Alternative for Greener Future

The government of India has advanced the target for 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol to 2025 from 2030. The roadmap proposes a gradual rollout of ethanol-blended fuel to achieve E10 fuel supply by April 2022 and phased rollout of E20 from April 2023 to April 2025.This important measure is aimed at reducing India’s oil import bill and carbon dioxide pollution as well as improving India’s energy security. Currently, 8.5 percent of ethanol is blended with petrol in India. India imported some 198 million tonnes of crude oil in 2020-21 with a net import cost of about $63 Billion. It is estimated that the E20 program can save the country $4 billion or Rs 30,000 crore per annum. Last year alone oil companies procured ethanol worth about Rs 21,000 crore a move which benefits the farmers of the country as well as the sugar manufacturing industry. The government also plans to encourage the use of water-sparing crops, such as maize, to produce ethanol, as well as the production of ethanol from non-food feedstock. To increase production of fuel grade ethanol and to achieve blending targets, the Govt has allowed use of maize and rice with the Food corporation of India for production of ethanol. Other measures to make ethanol production more cost effective is the reduction of the GST rate from 18% to 5 % on ethanol meant for blending, under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme. So in this episode of Science for a Self-Reliant India we will look at how Ethanol is manufactured and the scientific processes involved in the production of biofuels. Our team also shows you how the sugar industry along with India’s petroleum companies are gearing up to meet this ambitious target of increasing ethanol production by nearly 150 % in such a short timeframe. This and much more on this episode of Science for a Self-Reliant India only on India science.

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