India can save on its Petroleum Budget by introducing 20% Ethanol as additive in Petrol instead of present 5%. Ethanol is a clean fuel but 100% ethanol (also termed as E100) cannot be used as a fuel. Due to its low freezing point it cause a problem in starting the vehicle during winter. But mixing 20% Ethanol does not make any such problem. Indeed it makes combustion better by supplying oxygen.
Presently Indian government allowed only 5% of Ethanol to be mix with petrol. If Government increase this limit to 20% then we can save a huge amount of money and Sugar cane farmers will also be benefitted. Now you might think from where sugar cane came into picture. Actually Ethanol can be produced profitably from sugarcane syrup. India is among top three sugarcane producing country in the world. Sugar cane are very good source to produce Ethanol. In Brazil, Ethanol is chiefly produced from sugarcane. Since the climate of Brazil is not cold, Ethanol is used as excellent fuel in automobiles.
E10 that is 10% Ethanol and 90% petrol can work for all automobiles which normally run on 100% petrol without any harmful effect on your vehicle engine. But for E20 or more Ethanol content fuel require compatible engines. E20 can cause damage to engine in long-term. So Government has to take steps in advance before regularised E20 fuel. It should not be done in the way as GST and de-monetization were done. Slowly from E5 to E10 to E15 and finally E20 need to be implemented with automobiles companies making required modification in their engine to avoid any substantial damage in long run. But once we do it, not only we will be using renewable clean biofuel but also we will be able to cut our Petroleum budget as Ethanol is much cheaper compared to Petrol (Around Rs40 per liter).
Many countries are even using E85 fuel. But I doubt whether we can reach to that stage in India. Even today when we just started using 5% Ethanol in some of the states we are having shortage of supply. One reason for such a short supply is low buying rate by oil companies.Government already made it compulsory for all oil companies to blend 5% Ethanol with Petrol. But now govt. must increase limit to E10. With the huge demand presently and in future, processing Ethanol from row material is a profitable business. But it requires huge investment and skill. Govt. of India provides various benefits to those who want to start Ethanol production.India’s cabinet approved a 5 percent increase in the price of ethanol to ease pressure on suppliers. For a sustainable future and clean environment Ethanol holds a great prospective for India where sugarcane are grown abundantly.
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