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 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.
- 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