Considering the sustainability goals set by world leaders, Ethanol represents one of the principal elements of biofuels, produced naturally by the fermentation of sugars through yeast.
On the other hand, an ethanol blend refers to a blended motor fuel that is composed of ethyl alcohol that is at least 99% pure and can be derived from agricultural products, and blended exclusively with petrol.
Targeting clean mobility at its forefront, Indian government has been aggressively promoting the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program.
In order to enhance energy security, reduce import dependency on fuel, saving foreign exchange, addressing environmental issues, government has recently amended the timeline of National Policy on Biofuels 2018 and laid out an indicative target of 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol with 5 per cent blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030.
With the coordinated efforts of the state-owned OMCs, Government of India had announced the achievement of fulfilling the target of 10 per cent blending under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program ahead of the targeted deadline of November 2022 in June 2022.
Celebrating World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the report of the Expert Committee on Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025.
Laying out a detailed pathway, the report talks about the ways of achieving 20 percent ethanol blending.
PM also launched its ambitious E-100 pilot project in Pune for the production and distribution of ethanol across the country.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, union minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti had shown the state-wise list of supplied quantities of ethanol, produced by distilleries in the country and supplied to oil marketing companies (OMCs) for blending with petrol, along with the blending percentage achieved under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program during ethanol supply years (ESY) of 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Referring to the revealed data, the supply of ethanol to OMCs was a meagre 380 million litres, with blending levels of only 1.53 per cent in ESY 2013-14.
From 2013-14 to 2020-21, the production of fuel-grade ethanol and its supply to OMCs increased by eight times.
In another shocking revelation, ESY 2020-21, the data states that 3,023 million litres of ethanol were supplied to OMCs, thereby achieving 8.1 per cent blending levels.
In comparison, the data of ESY 2021-22 showed astonishing figure of about 1.13 billion litres ethanol to be blended with petrol as of March 13, 2022, amounting to a blending of 9.45 per cent.