Q Why is this in News?
A. On World Biofuel Day 2022, the government of India announced a 2nd generation (2G) ethanol plant to be set up at the Indian Oil Corporation’s refinery in Haryana.
- This ethanol plant will help reduce air pollution from the Delhi and the NCR region along with generating additional income and green fuel.
Q. What is World Biofuel Day?
- It is celebrated every year on 10th of August.
- It is observed to raise awareness of the importance of non-fossil fuels as a substitute for conventional fossil fuels.
- This day is observed in honour of Sir Rudolf Diesel.
- He was the inventor of the diesel engine and was the first to predict the possibility of vegetable oil replacing fossil fuels.
Q. What do we know about the Ethanol Plant?
- It will boost India’s waste-to-wealth endeavours by utilising about 2 lakh tonnes of rice straw (parali) annually to generate around 3 crore litres of ethanol annually.
- This plant will also utilize maize and sugarcane waste besides paddy straw to produce ethanol.
- The project will provide direct employment to people involved in the plant operation and indirect employment will be generated in the supply chain for rice straw cutting, handling, storage, etc.
- The project will have zero liquid discharge.
- Through reduction in burning of rice straw, the project will contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gases equivalent to about 3 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per annum, which can be understood as equivalent to replacing nearly 63,000 cars annually on the country's roads.
Q. What Is Ethanol?
- It is one of the principal biofuels, which is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes such as ethylene hydration.
- It is a domestically produced alternative fuel most commonly made from corn. It is also made from cellulosic feedstocks, such as crop residues and wood.
- Ethanol as Fuel:
- The use of ethanol as a fuel for internal combustion engines, either alone or in combination with other fuels, has been given much attention mostly because of its possible environmental and long-term economical advantages over fossil fuel.
- Ethanol can be combined with petrol in any concentration up to pure ethanol (E100).
- Anhydrous ethanol (ethanol without water) can be blended with petrol in varying quantities to reduce the consumption of petroleum fuels, as well as to reduce air pollution.
Q. What are India’s Other Initiatives regarding Biofuels?
- Ethanol Blending Programme:
- It is aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on crude oil imports, cutting carbon emissions and boosting farmers’ incomes.
- The Government of India has advanced the target for 20% ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
- India has already achieved the target of 10% ethanol blending in petrol with the country’s ethanol production increasing to 400 crore litres.
- The National Policy on Biofuels–2018:
- It provides an indicative target of 20% ethanol blending under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme by 2030.
- E-100 Pilot Project:
- TVS Apache two-wheelers are designed to run on E80 or pure ethanol (E100).
- Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana, 2019:
- The scheme aims to create an ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and boost Research and Development in the 2G Ethanol sector.
- Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO):
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched this initiative that will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel.