Initiatives to promote “Ethanol as an alternate fuel”

What is the News?

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas has informed Lok Sabha about the initiatives taken to promote ethanol as an alternate fuel.

Ethanol:

  • Ethanol or ethyl alcohol is a liquid that has several uses. At 95% purity, it is called rectified spirit and is used as the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages. At 99%-plus purity, ethanol is used for blending with petrol.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.

Facts about Ethanol as a Fuel:

  • Ethanol is also considered a renewable fuel. It is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun.
  • Ethanol molecule contains oxygen. It allows the engine to combust the fuel efficiently, resulting in lower emission. Thereby, it reduces environmental pollution.
  • Ethanol-blended fuel keeps the fuel system clean for optimal performance. It is because it does not leave gummy deposits.
  • Ethanol helps prevent wintertime problems by acting as a gas-line antifreeze.

Government Initiatives to Promote Ethanol as an alternate Fuel:

  • Ethanol Blended Petrol(EBP) programme:
    • It was launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG).
    • Aim: To achieve a blending of Ethanol with Petrol. It was aimed to reduce pollution, conserve foreign exchange and benefits for farmers. It increases value addition in the sugar industry.
    • Implementation: The Government is implementing the programme through Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
  • National Policy on Biofuels (NBP) -2018: This policy envisages an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030.
  • Ethanol from Sugarcane: Government has allowed the production of ethanol from sugarcane and food grain-based raw-materials.
  • Interest Subvention Scheme: Government, in order to increase the production of ethanol, has notified interest subvention schemes for setting up of molasses and grain-based new distilleries or expansion of existing distilleries, setting up of dual-feed distilleries, installation of zero liquid discharge system among others.

Source: PIB

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