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Tags Current Affairs

Ethanol blending

Date: 21 May 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


The target for achieving 20% ethanol blending in petrol was advanced by five years by the union cabinet.



The changes were made after amending National Biofuel Policy-2018, which sets new target for 2025-26 instead of 2030.


Changes introduced

  • Introduction of more feedstock for biofuel production

  • Production of biofuels under the ‘Make in India’ programme in Special Economic Zones

  • Export Oriented Unit

  • Allowing export of biofuels in specific cases


Significance of advancing targets

  • With the changes in policy, Oil Marketing Companies will be allowed to buy ethanol from sugar mills and clear payments within 21 days.

  • Sugar mills can diversify their product faster from just sugar production and become self-reliant in paying cane-growers.


Current blending

Current blending rates in India stand at 9.90%. Ethanol obtained from sugarcane juice/sugar syrup and from C heavy molasses forms the bulk of this supply.


Ethanol blending

  • Ethanol blending is a process in which ethanol biofuel is mixed with petrol and diesel in fixed proportion.

  • Biofuels are obtained by processing organic matter. This is different from fossil fuels, which are derived from slow fossilization process.


Advantages of ethanol blending

  • Foreign currency savings to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore per year can be realized if blending of 20% is carried out.

  • Ethanol fuel does not emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. By blending with fossil fuels, emission can be checked.

  • It makes India energy secure as there will be less dependency on fossil fuel exports from fuel exporting countries and their cartelization.

  • Biofuel industry may prosper domestically, which will help in creation of jobs and generate revenue for farmers and other stake-holders.

  • Food grains and materials that are not fit for consumption can be turned into ethanol.


Challenges of ethanol blending

  • Increasing blending proportion will need significant changes in design of automobile engines. This will increase cost.

  • Demand for ethanol will force farmers to expand water-intensive crops such as sugarcanes. This may in turn reduce food grain production.

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