Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the E-20 fuel program will ensure using bio-ethanol in 20 per cent blend with Petrol by 2025 in India.
The Minister said with the rollout of flex-fuel vehicles on 100 per cent bio-ethanol, the demand for ethanol will immediately jump by four to five times.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has emphasised the adoption of alternative fuels which will be import substitutes, cost-effective, pollution-free, indigenous, and discourage the use of Petrol or diesel.
Addressing a conference organised by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) on ‘Alternative fuel- Road ahead,’ he said that the most significant benefit of bio-ethanol as an alternative fuel is that it is a clean fuel with very low greenhouse gas emissions.
He said the additional income generated from the use of bio-ethanol is directly diverted to the farmers, which empowers the rural and backward economy.
Gadkari said looking at the ethanol production capacity and its adaptability as a fuel, the government, has redesigned and launched the E-20 fuel program, which will ensure the use of bio-ethanol in a 20 per cent blend with Petrol by 2025 in India.
He said the government has also calculated that to achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending, the country will require around ten billion litres of ethanol by 2025. He said currently, the sugar industry contributes to 90 per cent of ethanol demand as a blended fuel in the country.
Gadkari said he keeps on researching to find ways to increase ethanol production with available resources. One such proposal is to add 15 per cent to 20 per cent sugar into B-Heavy Molasses.
Union Minister said this would have multiple benefits as it will utilise an excess stock of around 45 to 60 lakh metric tonnes of sugar and improve the ethanol recovery by 30 per cent due to better quality of raw material.
On similar lines, the Minister said production of C-Heavy Molasses from sugar could be discouraged, which will standardise the output of B-Heavy Molasses and will permanently lead to lesser production of sugar by 1.5 per cent per Metric Tonne of sugarcane.
Gadkari said all of these steps would increase ethanol production and can lead to a scenario where excess availability of ethanol in one state can be transported to ethanol-deficient states such as the North-East, Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh.
He said with the rollout of flex-fuel vehicles on 100 per cent bio-ethanol, the demand for ethanol will immediately jump by four to five times.
He added that Bio-ethanol could also be a sustainable fuel for aviation purposes. It can provide an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and can be blended up to 50 per cent with conventional jet fuels without any modification. He said it has already been tested and approved by the Indian air force.