E-100 Project

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    Recently, the Prime Minister has launched the E-100 pilot project in Pune to mark the World Environment Day 2021.

    • He also released the Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025.

    About the Project

    • It aims to set up a network for production and distribution of ethanol across the nation.
    • The government is also releasing the E-20 notification that will allow oil companies to sell 20 per cent ethanol blended petrol from 1st April, 2023 and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications for ethanol blends E12 and E15.

     

    Ethanol Sector in India

    • Ethanol has become one of the major priorities of 21st century India.
    • India is targeting to have 20 per cent ethanol-blended fuel by 2025, in a push towards a robust biofuel policy.
      • Earlier, 2030 was the deadline to hit the targets but seeing the kind of improvement made in the last few years, the timeline has been reduced by five years.
      • Till 2014, on an average, only 1.5 per cent of ethanol could be blended in India which has now reached about 8.5 per cent.
      • In 2013-14, about 38 crore liters of ethanol were purchased in the country which has now grown to more than 320 crore liters.
    • The focus on ethanol is having a better impact on the environment as well as on the lives of farmers as it helps them earn more profits.
      • A large part of this eightfold increase in ethanol procurement has benefitted the sugarcane farmers of the country,
    • Most of the ethanol manufacturing units are mostly concentrated in 4-5 states where sugar production is high but now food grain based distilleries are being established to expand this to the whole country.
    • Modern technology based plants are also being set up in the country to make ethanol from agricultural waste.

     

    Ethanol

    • It is an organic chemical compound, produced from biomass.
    • It is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes such as ethylene hydration.
    • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by the fermentation process.
    • It is also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol or simply alcohol.
    • Applications and Usage
      • It has medical applications as an antiseptic and disinfectant.
      • It is used as a chemical solvent and in the synthesis of organic compounds.
      • It is a fuel source.
      • It is also an ingredient in alcoholic beverages.
    • Ethanol Blending
      • It means blending of ethanol with other relevant fuels to make them more energy efficient.
      • Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends. As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
      • Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.
      • Ethanol blending in petrol is being adopted by many countries including India in a bid to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and reduce import burden on crude petroleum.
        • Presently, bioethanol blending in petrol stands at 5 per cent, which can replace around 1.8 million barrels of crude oil.

     

    (Image Courtesy: JOI)

     

    • Benefits of Ethanol Blending 
      • Cost-effective.
      • Minimises dependence on fossil fuels and provides green and clean alternative fuel sources.
      • Reduces burden of high fuel imports and emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
      • Provides an alternative market for crops and promotes organised sale of reduced crops.
      • Benefits farmers with income security and high returns.
      • Promotes behavioural change in fuel consumption.
      • Raises spending on research and development.
      • Leads to better utilisation of urban solid waste.
      • Contributes to creation of employment in the country.
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    (Image Courtesy: EM)

     

    • Other Steps Taken by Government 
      • Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme
        • It was launched in January 2003.
        • The programme sought to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.
        • It aims at blending ethanol with petrol, thereby bringing it under the category of biofuels and saving millions of dollars by cutting fuel imports. 
        • Under this, the availability of ethanol will increase due to the higher price for C heavy molasses-based ethanol and enabling procurement of ethanol from B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice for the first time.
      • National Biofuel Policy 2018
        • It categorises biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G), Second Generation (2G) and Third Generation (3G) biofuels.
        • It expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing the use of sugarcane juice, sugar-containing materials like sugar beet, sweet sorghum etc unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
        • It allows the use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee.

     

    World Environment Day 2021

    • It has been celebrated every year on 5th June since 1974.
    • It engages governments, businesses and citizens in an effort to address pressing environmental issues.
    • Theme for 2021: Reimagine, Recreate, Restore.
    • Host for 2021: Pakistan.
      • Every year the event is hosted by a different country where official celebrations take place.
    • Significance: The day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change by pushing-
      • Individuals to think about the way they consume.
      • Businesses to develop greener models.
      • Farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably.
      • Governments to invest in repairing the environment.
      • Educators to inspire students to take action.
      • Youth to build a greener future.
    • The United Nations has declared the decade of 2021-30 as the UN decade on ecosystem restoration.

     

    Bureau of Indian Standards

    • It came into existence, through an Act of Parliament in 1987.
    • It was established by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act 2016 as the National Standards Body of India.
      • It is the only national body that frames standards.
    • It works under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.
    • It aims for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization and marking and quality certification of goods.
    • Major Initiatives:
      • BIS-Care App: It provides a platform to consumers for grievance redressal and feedback through the portal. 
      • Quality Control Orders (QCO): It is formulating the standards of manufactured products.

     

    Source: LM