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India set to be third-largest ethanol market by ’26: Report

Published: 27th Dec, 2021


India is set to become the third-largest market for ethanol in the world after the US and Brazil by 2026, a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

  • The country has tripled ethanol demand to an estimated 3 billion litres between 2017 and 2021.


  • Biofuels are transportation fuels such as ethanoland biomass-based diesel fuel that are made from biomass materials.
  • Simply put, a biofuel is any liquid fuel derived from biological material such as trees, agricultural wastes, crops, or grass.
  • Biofuel can be produced from any carbon source that can be replenished rapidly, such as plants. 

Types of Biofuel

  • First Generation Biofuels: These are produced directly from food crops.
  • Second-generation Biofuels: Second-generation non-food feedstock includes woody crops and agricultural residues or waste, which are a little more difficult to extract. Advanced conversion technologies are needed in the process, which is also why second-generation biofuels are known as “advanced biofuels.”
  • Third Generation Biofuels: These are based on improvements in the production of biomass. It takes advantage of specially engineered energy crops such as algae as its energy source.
  • Fourth Generation Fuels: Fourth-generation technology combines genetically optimized feedstock, which is designed to capture large amounts of carbon, with genomically synthesized microbes, which are made to efficiently make fuels.

Significance of Biofuel

  • Biofuels provide a sustainable energy system that is renewable, environmentally friendly and capable of utilising indigenous raw materials.
  • Renewable source
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gases
  • Energy security
  • Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil

Key-highlights of the Report

  • Buoyed by India’s growing appetite, Asia is set to overtake Europe in terms of biofuels production by 2026.
  • While annual global dem-and for biofuels is set to grow by 28% from 2021 levels by 2026, reaching 186 billion litres, Asia is seen to account for almost 30% of new production over the forecast period.

What is India’s target?

  • The government has resolved to meet the target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025. Earlier the target was set for 2030.


  • Jatropha oil:   Jatropha is an extremely hardy and frugal plant species native to tropical and subtropical areas where it grows on wasteland. Jatropha seeds contain large quantities of oil that can be processed into a variety of products such as biofuels, animal feed, cosmetics and organic fertiliser.
  • Ethanol: Ethanol is a type of alcohol that can be produced using any feedstock containing significant amounts of sugar, such as sugar cane or sugar beet, or starch, such as maize and wheat. 

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