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 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.