Biofuels Current Affairs
Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link
Haryana Government has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to set up ethanol plant at village Bohali village in Panipat district with an outlay of over Rs. 900 crore. The MoU will be valid for one year. This plant will motivate farmers in its 50 km radius area to manage crop residue and prevent straw burning and help to fulfill increasing demand of ethanol and also bio-fuels for consumers of petroleum product.
The proposed capacity of this ethanol plant will be of producing 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day. It will help to manage crop residue and prevent straw burning before upcoming paddy season. 10 cooperative and three private sugar mills in the state will provide raw fuel to this plant. There will be regular supply of raw material to this plant as paddy crop residue will be provided as raw material after end of paddy season in October and November and after that sugarcane crop residue will be supplied in cyclic manner.
It is an alcohol derived by process of fermentation mostly from carbohydrates of agricultural residue and feedstocks. It acts as a quasi-renewable energy, as it can be easily blended with petrol or diesel, thus making it sustainable transport fuel. Its long-term usage will help to reduce emissions and dependency on imported fossil fuel. It will benefit farmers economically, as they will be paid for their agro-based produce to extract bio-ethanol. It would also help in preventing loss of fertility of soil and damage to environment by reducing air pollution caused by burning of leftover agro-based produce.
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.
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.