Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City
ALTERNATE FUEL PAVES GREEN PATH FOR VEHICLES
The Indian government and automobile industry are working towards making mobility environment-friendly. Apart
from CNG and EVS, ethanol-blended petrol is a promising auto fuel alternative
Making ethanol-blended fuel a priority for the country’s auto and transport sector, prime minister Narendra Modi on June 5 advanced India’s target to use ethanol-based petrol as an alternative fuel. The country is set to start using E20 or 20% ethanol mixed petrol from 2025 instead of previous target of 2030. Currently, India blends 8.5% ethanol with petrol.
PURE FOSSIL FUEL VS ETHANOLBASED FUEL
Many would be curious to know as to why is ethanol-blended auto fuel being promoted in the country? The answer to it is that ethanol is essentially ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol which is made by microbial fermentation of grains and farm waste. It claims to offer efficiency equivalent to fossil fuel at a lower cost than petrol by raising the octane level. Ethanol-blended auto fuel reduces carbon emission and thus, air pollution. It is a domestic and renewable source of fuel which is refilled just like petrol or diesel in engines.
Usage of ethanol-blended fuel will also drastically reduce oil import bills of the country, resulting in an estimated annual saving of around ₹30,000 crore. This can also come as a respite for general public as it will reduce the overall price of fuel. The price of this fuel can be pegged at about ₹60-62 per litre.
Also, since ethanol is mainly produced from farm waste, it is likely to boost the farming sector income. Processing of farm waste into ethanol fuel will also require specialised plants and human resource which will in turn develop new business opportunities and create employment.
OTHER ALTERNATIVE FUELS
With countries facing stringent vehicle emission legislations, diminishing stockpile of fossil fuels and severe air quality hazards, several alternative and eco-friendly fuel options have come to the fore. Several sources of energy including biogas and alcohol are being tested and developed across the world. The clean fuels that have gained prominence lately include electric fuel, hydrogen, ethanol, methanol, natural gas (CNG/LNG), propane (LPG) and biodiesel.