10% ethanol blend­ing with petrol can lower fuel price by ₹3/litre: Ex­perts

But given the cur­rent ethanol avail­abil­ity lim­i­ta­tions, that’s an un­re­al­is­tic tar­get

The Hindu Business Line - - FRONT PAGE - TWESH MISHRA

Petrol prices can come down by ₹2.60-2.90 a litre if even 10 per cent ethanol blend­ing with fuel is achieved, say in­dus­try ex­perts.

Un­der the Ethanol Blend­ing Pro­gramme, the Cen­tre has asked oil mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies (OMCs) to tar­get 10 per cent blend­ing of ethanol with petrol by 2022. Ac­cord­ing to data compiled by the In­dian Sugar Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (ISMA), the na­tion­wide av­er­age for ethanol blend­ing stands at 4.02 per cent as on Oc­to­ber 1.

Oc­tane num­ber

“Blend­ing ethanol with fuel raises the oc­tane num­ber of petrol. Petrol prices can be low­ered if OMCs pass on the gains,” Amit Sachdev, South Asia (In­dia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the US Grains Coun­cil (USGC), said. Petrol is a prod­uct of frac­tional dis­til­la­tion of crude oil, with fur­ther treat­ment, in­clud­ing ad­di­tion of multi-func­tion ad­di­tives, to en­hance its oc­tane rat­ing and other prop­er­ties. A higher oc­tane num­ber means en­gines can burn the same amount of petrol to ex­tract more en­ergy.

“The stan­dard­ised oc­tane num­ber for petrol in In­dia is 91. The cost of ad­di­tives re­quired to achieve this rat­ing is built into the price of petrol. At present, splash blend­ing of ethanol with­out chang­ing the oc­tane level at the re­fin­ery in­creases the oc­tane rat­ing by 2 ex­ces­sive points, cost­ing an ad­di­tional ₹1.60 per litre of petrol,” Sachdev said.

Splash blend­ing is done when ethanol is di­rectly poured into petrol. Ac­cord­ing to Sachdev, the oc­tane rat­ing of petrol goes up when ethanol is splash blended.

“Im­ple­ment­ing the E10 blend man­date will trans­late into sav­ings of ₹2.602.90 a litre of petrol,” Sachdev said. How­ever, 10 per cent blend­ing is un­re­al­is­tic based on cur­rent ethanol avail­abil­ity. Ac­cord­ing to ISMA, OMCs raised a de­mand for 313.5 crore litres of ethanol dur­ing the sugar sea­son 2017-2018.

But the do­mes­tic in­dus­try could of­fer only 176.3 crore litres of ethanol for the pro­gramme, and agree­ments for 161.06 crore litres of ethanol were signed by PSU oil mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies. This re­sulted in 4.02 per cent ethanol blend­ing.

Ethanol avail­abil­ity is con­strained by pro­cure­ment price vari­a­tion and the lack of dis­til­leries, ac­cord­ing to the do­mes­tic in­dus­try. The pro­cure­ment price of ethanol is fixed by the Cen­tre be­fore ev­ery sugar sea­son dur­ing ethanol sup­ply year from De­cem­ber 1 to Novem­ber 30.

Also read p7

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.