Biofuels Current Affairs

World Biofuel Day: August 10

World Bio-fuel Day (The International Biodiesel Day) is observed every year on August 10 to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels i.e. Green Fuels or Bio-fuels an alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Bio-fuels are renewable, bio-degradable, sustainable and environment friendly fuel. It can be seen as alternative to conventional fossil fuels.

Significance of Day

On this day in 1893, Sir Rudalph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil. His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines.

Observances

In India, World Biofuel Day is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. This year it had organized World Biofuel Day programme at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. It had conducted separate interactive sessions on ethanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG and 2nd Generation biofuels.

Government initiatives to promote biofuels

Considering benefits of biofuels in reducing import dependency on crude oil, asmclean environment fuel and generating additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas, Government has undertaken number of initiatives such biofuels programme and increasing blending of biofuels etc.

The biofuels programme is in synergy with Government’s other initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and doubling farmers’ income by 2022. Government’s major interventions in this sector includes administrative price mechanism for ethanol, simplifying procurement procedures of OMCs, amending provisions of Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and enabling lignocellulosic route for ethanol procurement.

Oil PSUs are also planning to set up 12 Second Generation (2G) Bio-refineries to augment ethanol supply and address environmental issues arising out of burning of agricultural biomass especially in North India. Government also has approved National Policy on Biofuels-2018 in June 2018. It aims at reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by year 2030.

It also has  expanded scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels. Government also has increased price of C-heavy molasses-based ethanol to boost to Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP). It also has fixed price of B-heavy molasses-based ethanol and sugarcane juice-based ethanol for the first time at Rs. 47.40.

It also has reduced GST on ethanol for blending in fuel from 18% to 5%. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is making all efforts to increase ethanol supply for petrol and has taken several steps in this direction.

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018

Tags:

Cabinet approves National Policy on Biofuels, 2018

The Union Cabinet has approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 in order to promote biofuels in the country. Biofuels in India are of strategic importance as it augers well with ongoing initiatives of Government such as Make in India,  Skill Development and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It also offers great opportunity to integrate with ambitious targets of doubling of import reduction, farmers’ income, employment generation, waste to wealth Creation.

Salient features of Policy

The policy categorises of biofuels to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category

  • Basic Biofuels: First Generation (1G) bioethanol and biodiesel.
  • Advanced Biofuels: Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc.

Expansion scope of raw material for ethanol production: It allows use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials like sweet sorghum, sugar beet, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like broken rice, wheat, rotten potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.

Use of surplus food grains: The policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee. This will ensure farmers get appropriate price for their produce during the surplus production phase.

Incentives to advanced biofuel: Viability gap funding scheme indicated for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years for giving special emphasis to advanced biofuels. It also proposes additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.

Supply chain mechanisms: The policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil, short gestation crops.

Synergising efforts: It predefines roles and responsibilities of all the concerned Ministries and Government Departments with respect to biofuels to synergise efforts.

Expected Benefits

Reduce Import Dependency: The ethanol supply will help to reduce import dependency on crude oil which will in turn result in savings of forex.

Cleaner Environment: The use of ethanol will reduce CO2 emissions. It will also reduce Green House Gas emissions by reducing crop burning and conversion of agricultural residues and wastes into biofuels.

Health benefits: Prolonged reuse of cooking oil for preparing food, particularly in deep-frying causes health hazard and can lead to many diseases. By using cooking oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel will prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management: Using advance technologies waste and plastic in MSW can be converted in use fuels. One ton of such waste has potential to provide around 20% of drop in fuels.

Infrastructural Investment in Rural Areas: Addition of 2G bio refineries across country will spur infrastructural investment in the rural areas.

Employment Generation: Setting up one 100klpd 2G bio refinery contributes to 1200 jobs in plant operations, village level entrepreneurs and supply chain management.

Additional Income to Farmers: By adopting 2G technologies for producing biofuels, agricultural residues and waste which otherwise are burnt by farmers can be converted to ethanol. Through this process farmers can fetch price for these waste. Moreover, conversion of surplus grains and agricultural biomass can also help in price stabilization for farmers.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

Tags:

Advertisement

123