Ethanol blending in petrol to be increased to 20% by 2025

Ethanol blending in petrol to be increased to 20% by 2025

Recently the Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the National Biofuel Policy, 2018. Through these amendments, the target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol will now be achieved by the year 2025 instead of 2030.

The achievement of 9.90% ethanol blending in petrol by May 2022 has been achieved in India. It is estimated to reach 10% by the end of FY 2022.

Ethanol-Blended Petrol:

  • Ethanol is an organic compound ‘ethyl alcohol’. It has a higher-octane number than gasoline. Hence it improves the octane number of petrol.
  • Since ethanol contains oxygen, it helps in the complete combustion of the fuel. This results in fewer emissions.

Benefits of reducing the target attainment period:

  • Foreign exchange savings equivalent to Rs. 30,000 crore per annum,
  • Energy security will increase,
  • Low carbon emissions,
  • Better use of spoiled food grains,
  • Increase in income of farmers.

Key Concerns-

  • A mixture of 10% ethanol in petrol does not require major changes to the engines of vehicles, but a 20% mixture may require some changes. This can lead to an increase in the prices of vehicles.
  • Crops requiring high water content (such as sugarcane) would require a large amount of land to achieve the target. In this case, the benefit of actual reduction in emissions may be reduced.

National Biofuel Policy, 2018

  • It was released in the year 2018. It aims to reduce dependence on imports by encouraging fuel mixing.
  • It focuses on Bioethanol, Biodiesel and Bio CNG.

Key parts of this policy:

  • Ethanol Blending Program (EPB),
  • Production of second generation ethanol (obtained from forest and agricultural wastes),
  • Increasing the production capacity of products to be mixed with fuel,
  • R&D in raw material (feedstock) used as starting material for ethanol production,
  • Financial incentives to achieve these goals.
  • The policy also allows the use of surplus rice or damaged food grains as raw material for ethanol production.

Source – The Hindu

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