PM Modi launched 20% ethanol blended petrol in 11 states and union territories

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched 20 percent ethanol blended petrol at select petrol pumps in 11 states and union territories as part of a program to increase the use of the biofuel. After launching 20 percent ethanol blended petrol, PM Modi said that the use of ethanol in petrol has been increased from 1.5 percent to 10 percent in 2014 and now it has increased to 20 percent. Firstly 15 cities of the country will be covered and in coming two years 20% ethanol blending petrol pumps will be expanded across the country.

The ethanol used for the composition of flex fuel is generally obtained from various plant, vegetable and organic sources. For example, Jatropha oil is one of the most researched sources of biofuel in our country. Also, rice, corn and other oils can also be used to obtain ethanol of desired calorific value.

Officials say that at present 10 per cent ethanol is mixed in petrol and the aim is to double the amount of ethanol by 2025. The country saved Rs 54,894 crore by reducing fuel imports by 10 per cent. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri said that India achieved 10 percent ethanol blending in petrol five months ago during June 2022, and now 20 percent ethanol blended petrol is distributed on pilot basis ahead of schedule .

Flex fuel reduces the content of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other hazardous products derived from fuel combustion. For example, compared to E0, the E20 blend reduces carbon monoxide emissions by close to 50 percent for two-wheelers and about 30 percent for four-wheelers.

In addition, the mix further reduces fuel costs overall. In addition, the BTE (Brake Thermal Efficiency) also increases with the use of biofuels. However, the application of biofuels also increases brake-specific fuel consumption.

Biofuels: Composition
Flex fuel or biofuel is obtained by blending a pre-determined amount of petrol and methanol/ethanol. There are different compositions used around the world namely E85, E80, E10, E20 and more. For context, E85 flex fuel contains 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent organically derived ethanol by volume. In India, the governing agencies had earlier notified that a policy on the use of E80 biofuel would be introduced. In this blend, 80 per cent ethanol by volume will be used while 20 per cent by volume will be blended with petrol.