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E20 fuel and future of green energy

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    10th Feb, 2023


The Prime Minister is going to launch 20% ethanol gasoline named ‘E20’, unveiling a solar and conventional energy-powered cooking system to celebrate the India Energy Week in Bengaluru.

About E20 fuel:

  • The number "20" in "E20" refers to the percentage of ethanolin the gasoline blend.
  • Simply put, the higher the number, the higher the percentage of Ethanol in the gasoline.
  • India's current ethanol-to-petroleum mix is 10%,the highest it has ever been.
  • Because it is made from biomass, ethanol does not require crude oil.
  • Ethanol is primarily produced from crops such as corn and sugarcane.
  • India already produces significant quantities of grain and sugarcane. It may allow automobiles to use a higher proportion of Ethanol.

What is ethanol blending? 

  • Naturally Produced- Ethanol is a biofuel, naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or by petrochemical processes like ethylene hydration.
  • Derived from agricultural products- In ethanol blending, a blended motor fuel containing ethyl alcohol derived from agricultural products is blended with petrol specifically.
  • High in oxygen content- Ethanol is high in oxygen content, allowing an engine to more thoroughly combust fuel.

Advantages of E20 fuel:

  • Biofuel is gaining popularity because it has the potential to significantly reduce pollution if used on a large enough scale.
  • Imports meet approximately 85% of India's fuel needs. In India, using petrol with a 20% ethanol blend would result in significant cost savings for the country.
  • New jobs will be created in the original equipment manufacturing (OEM), component supplier, and aftermarket service provider sectors.
  • The Indian government believes achieving its 20% ethanol in gasoline target will benefit the country's agricultural industry. The government claims that these measures will increase farmer income.

Present utilisation of E20 Fuels in India:

  • India's Creta, Venue, and Alcazar SUVsfrom Hyundai Motor are said to be capable of running on E20 gasoline as of the 2023 MY model year.
  • Tata Motors debuted two new turbocharged petrol enginesat the Auto Expo 2023. (1.2-litre and 1.5-litre).
  • Tata has stated that its vehicles longer than 4 metres will soon be equipped with E20 fuel-compatible engines.
  • By April 2023, similar developments are planned for vehicles manufactured by Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Kia, and others.

Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) programme:

  • EBP programme was launched by the government in 2003 to promote the use of alternative and environmental friendly fuels.
  • This intervention also aimed to reduce import dependency for energy requirements, and give boost to the agriculture sector (supply of straw, additional income to farmers).
  • Oil marketing companies (OMCs) were mandated to sell ethanol blended petrol with percentage of ethanol up to 10 per cent. The government allowed procurement of ethanol produced from non-food feed stocks, like cellulosic and ligno-cellulosic materials, including petrochemical route.
  • Ligno-cellulosic materials: It describes the main constituents in most plants, namely cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. Lignocellulose is a complex matrix, comprising many different polysaccharides, phenolic polymers and proteins. Cellulose, the major component of cell walls of land plants, is a glucan polysaccharide containing large reservoirs of energy that provide real potential for conversion into biofuels. It is the non-starch based fibrous part of plant material.

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