Currently, 8.5% of ethanol is blended with petrol in India
Prime minister Narendra Modi announced June 5, 2021 the target of 20 per cent ethanol blended petrol has been advanced by five years to 2025.
Modi released the 'Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for ethanol blending in India, 2020-2025' on the World Environment day. India plans to reduce carbon emissions by 33-35 per cent (from 2005 levels) by 2030, as a part of its commitments to the 2015 Paris agreement.
In 2020, India had set a target of 10 per cent ethanol-blending in petrol by 2022 and 10 per cent ethanol-blending in diesel by 2030.
Currently, 8.5 per cent of ethanol is blended with petrol in the country. This has led to procurement of 320 crore litres of ethanol. The government has claimed Rs 21,000 crores was generated from ethanol procurement, helping farmers earn an additional income.
Sugarcane (87 per cent), residues of rice and wheat are the main sources of ethanol used for blending. Ethanol blending also reduces vehicular pollution and agricultural waste pollution. It can also cut down India’s oil imports, as it is the world's third-biggest oil importer.
But to produce one litre of ethanol from sugar requires about 2,860 litres of water and costs Rs 62.65 per litre. In March 2021, Union minister Nitin Gadkari asked automakers to build flex-engine vehicles. These engines can run using any ratio of blended ethanol ranging from 20 per cent to 100 per cent.
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