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India Targets 20% Ethanol Blending In Petrol By 2025

Recently a roadmap for the growth of the ethanol sector has been released detailing how ethanol will be blended with petrol. The target is blending 20% ethanol with petrol by 2025.

The ethanol blending with petrol is all set to strengthen India’s energy security. According to experts focus on Ethanol will also have a positive impact on not only the environment but also the lives and livelihood of farmers. The target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol has been said to be achieved by 2025 with a strong foundation being laid for the program. In fact, the safety standards for ethanol-blended fuels have already been notified.

Currently under the ethanol blending program ethanol is blended at 10% in the petrol and sold in places wherever ethanol is available. It started in 2003 with 5% at a small scale in sugar surplus states like Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. However, after 2013-14 it has picked up with a lot of efforts by the government. As data shows in 2013-14 around 380 million liters was blended and now this year there is an offer of 0.325 billion liters. Last year India rendered 0.173 billion liters of ethanol in petrol which was 5% blended. 5% blending means 50% of the petrol sold is blended with 10% ethanol.

The ethanol blending program has many benefits with the topmost being the environment. It is a good fluid that oxygenates petrol and makes it a better fuel. This ensures that the emissions from the tailpipe of the automobile are much less and safer for the environment.

Apart from benefitting the environment, the program is also said to positively impact some aspects of the economy. With ethanol blending replacing 10% of the fuel, it will save some amount of the fuel that is imported in the country. This means that it is a replacement by 10%. The other benefit is that because it is farm-based a direct benefit goes to farmers including employment as well as income. In the ethanol blending program, the payment cycle is very fast, it is around 21 days. Thus farmers will get their cash in 21 days, unlike sugar that takes up to 6 months.

India imports around 85% of the crude from other countries so ethanol is one of the important fuels for India. Ethanol is a superior fuel to gasoline in terms of octane number.

As the supply of ethanol increased over the last four to five years the supply-side initiatives have been taken by the government. Department of food has taken some initiative of interest submission scheme to promote distilleries to expand their capacities. Based on that it was realized by the government that the capacity and supply are going to go up.

The major benefit of ethanol blending is achieving energy security and transforming India into a low-carbon economy.

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