Daily News Analysis

Biofuels

20th July, 2021 ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

Context

  • Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas stated that the ethanol blending has Improved from 1.53% during Ethanol Supply Year 2013-14 to 7.93% ongoing ESY 2020-21.

 

E-100 pilot projects

  • It has been launched at Pune city by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) on June 05, 2021.
  • Aim: to enhance fuel choice and facilitate sale of E-100 fuel.’
  • The Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel (Regulation of Supply, Distribution and Prevention of Malpractices) Order, 2005 was amended to permit the direct sale of Bio-ethanol (E100) by an oil company for use as standalone fuel or blending with motor spirit, for compatible automobiles to all consumers.
  • It has to be in accordance with the standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

 

Notified National Policy on Biofuels - 2018

  • It provided an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030.
  • NITI Aayog "Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25" report outlines the journey for 20% ethanol blending in the country.

India’s Biofuel Economy:

  • India is one of the fastest growing economies and the third largest consumer of primary energy in the world after the US and China.
  • India’s fuel energy security will remain vulnerable until alternative fuels are developed based on renewable feedstocks.
  • The government of India targets reducing the country’s carbon footprint by 30-35% by the year 2030.
  • These targets will be achieved through a five-pronged strategy which includes:
    • Increasing domestic production
    • adopting biofuels and renewable
    • implementing energy efficiency norms
    • improving refinery processes and
    • achieving demand substitution.
  • The government of India has proposed a target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030 and introduced multiple initiatives to increase indigenous production of biofuels.

What are 1G and 2G biofuels?

  • 1G Bioethanol plants utilise sugarcane juice and molasses, byproducts in the production of sugar, as raw material.
  • 2G plants utilise surplus biomass and agricultural waste to produce Bioethanol.
  • Third generation biofuels - These are produced from micro-organisms like algae.
  • Fourth generation biofuels - These are produced from genetically modified (GM) algae to enhance biofuel production.
  • The prices of both sugarcane and bio-ethanol are set by the central government.

Benefits of India’s ethanol blending mandates include:

  • Reduce Import Dependency: Will saves foreign exchange (forex).
  • Cleaner Environment: Reducing crop burning and converting agricultural residues/wastes to biofuels will further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Health Benefits: Prolonged reuse of cooking oil for preparing food, particularly in deep-frying, is a potential health hazard and can lead to many diseases. Used cooking oil (UCO) is a potential feedstock for biodiesel and its use for making biodiesel prevents reuse of UCO within the food industry.
  • Solid Waste Management: There are technologies available, which can convert solid waste and plastics to drop-in fuels.
  • Infrastructural Investment in Rural Areas: Establishing additional 2G biorefineries across the country will spur infrastructural investment in rural areas.
  • Employment Generation: 2G biorefinery can contribute 1200 jobs across plant operations, village level entrepreneurs and supply chain management.
  • Additional Income to Farmers: By adopting 2G technologies, agricultural residues/wastes that otherwise are burnt can be converted to ethanol. Farmers can realise an additional revenue source if markets are developed for these residues/wastes.

Major programs supporting the development of biofuels production and use in India include:

  • Viable gap funding (VGF) for commercial scale 2G ethanol plants under Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana
  • Financial assistance for demonstration scale 2G integrated bioethanol under Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana.
  • Grants for research and development from DBT to 5 Centres for Excellence in the Bioenergy area.
  • The National Policy on Biofuels 2018 specifically promotes advanced biofuels to achieve a target of 20% blending of biofuels with fossil-based fuels by 2030.

Measures that can improve Bio-fuel economy:

  • Currently in India, Biofuel development is centred around the cultivation of Jatropha plant seeds. There is need to develop new feedstock for biofuels.
  • To facilitate the blending of biofuels with conventional fuels, there is need to set up advanced biorefineries.
  • Research and development should be promoted to support generation of bio-fuel from waste. As it will ensure realizing the goal of waste management and waste to energy.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/ethanol-blending-improves-from-1-53-to-7-93-over-last-seven-years-121071900723_1.html