Biodiesel Current Affairs - 2020

India-Brazil MoU on Bioenergy Cooperation gets Cabinet approval

Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Republic of India and Federative Republic of Brazil on Bioenergy Cooperation.

Background

In 2016, during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Brazil in India, the two sides agreed to cooperate on research and development (R&D) of renewable energies, and in field of 2nd-generation biofuels. Therefore, in this regard, an MoU was also signed between two sides to provides a framework to cooperate as well as to promote investment in biofuel, bioelectricity and biogas supply-chains including industrial conversion, feedstock, distribution and end use sectors.

India-Brazil Energy Demand

Brazil is one of the most important trading partners of India in entire Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Both countries are also major consumers of energy in world. Brazil is currently world’s 2nd largest producer and consumer of biofuels. Moreover, biofuels and bioelectricity accounts for 18% of Brazil’s energy mix. India having strong focus in area of bio-fuels, has set a target to achieve 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030. For this purpose India has also announced new policy on Biofuels in 2018.

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10 August: World Biofuel Day

Every year 10 August is observed as World Biofuel Day with aim to create awareness about importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels. It is being observed by Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas since 2015.

On 10th August 2019, Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry will organize World Biofuel Day at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

World Biofuel Day

Theme 2019: ‘Production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO)

Objective: To create awareness about importance of non-fossil fuels (or environment-friendly fuels) as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight various efforts made by Government of India in biofuel sector.

Highlights of World Biofuel Day 2019

To facilitate production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO), Oil Marketing Companies shall float an Expression of Interest (EOI) for procurement of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil across 100 cities. Objective behind inviting this EOI is to encourage applicants to set up Biodiesel producing plants from UCO, processing plants and further utilizing existing potential of UCO based Bio-diesel in India.

On this occasion, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) shall release a sticker on RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) and a mobile app to facilitate collection of UCO.

Interactive sessions on 2nd Generation Ethanol & Biodiesel from UCO will also be held, which will focus on issues and hurdles being faced by sector and dwell on how to overcome these hurdles for effective implementation of blending program across India.

What are Biofuels?

They are environment friendly fuels which are derived from renewable bio-mass resources. Biofuels utilization would address global concerns about supression of carbon emissions.

Being eco-friendly they provide a strategic advantage to promote sustainable development. They also supplement conventional energy sources in meeting rapidly increasing demand for transportation fuels.

Benefits: Biofuels use can reduce import dependency on crude oil, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas.  Biofuels programme is also in synergy with Union Government’s initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and enhancing farmers’ income.

Benefits of transformation of UCO:

It will help bring health benefits as there would be no recycling of UCO, infrastructural investment in rural areas, employment generation and cleaner environment with reduced carbon footprint.

The role of biodiesel is not just to replace fossil fuel but to help form a balanced policy. Biofuels are environment-friendly, and their use would address global concerns about the suppression of carbon emissions.

Important Biofuel categories in India

Bioethanol : Ethanol produced from biomass such as sugar containing materials, starch containing materials and cellulosic materials.

Biodiesel : a methyl or ethyl ester of fatty acids produced from non-edible vegetable oils, acid oil, used cooking oil/animal fat and bio-oil.

Advanced biofuels : Fuels which are-

produced from lignocellulosic, non-food crops (i.e. grasses, algae), or industrial waste and residue streams

having low CO2 emission/high GHG reduction and do not compete with food crops for land use. For instance- Fuels like Second Generation (2G) Ethanol, Drop-in fuels, algae based 3G biofuels, bio-CNG, bio-methanol, Di Methyl Ether (DME) bio-hydrogen, drop in fuels with MSW as the source / feedstock material

Drop-in fuels : Any liquid fuel produced from Biomass, agri-residues, wastes such as Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW), Plastic wastes, Industrial wastes etc .

Bio-CNG: it is a purified form of bio-Gas whose energy potential and composition is similar to that of fossil based natural gas.

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