Government To Promote Alternative Fuels In India; Ethanol Included

By Abhinand Venugopal

The central government is planning to widely promote alternative fuels such as ethanol in the country. The new move is in wake of the rising pollution and emission levels that have stirred up the environmental balance. In many major urban areas in India, the primary sources of air-quality degradation are industries and automobiles; the latter being the bigger contributor.

Government To Promote Alternative Fuels In India; Ethanol Included

By promoting ethanol, this can be reduced to a good extent but not entirely. But when it comes to the production of such alternative fuels, the environment is least affected since most of the byproducts of ethanol are organic substances.

Government To Promote Alternative Fuels In India; Ethanol Included

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways shared his views on promoting ethanol and other alternative fuel options at the 58th ACMA (Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India) annual convention. He said, "ethanol is the solution for our fuel problems".

Government To Promote Alternative Fuels In India; Ethanol Included

From the reports he shared, India has a surplus of almost 60 lakh tonnes of sugar and this figure is subject to rise even further. Hence, the government intends to concentrate more on processing sugar molasses to produce ethanol.

Government To Promote Alternative Fuels In India; Ethanol Included

He further added, "Instead of the current four per cent molasses, we will be doing six per cent molasses. Sugar will be converted into blackstrap molasses which will aid in increasing the production of ethanol in India. In fact, the petroleum ministry will have a separate and attractive pricing pattern for the ethanol produced in this manner."

Government To Promote Alternative Fuels In India; Ethanol Included

The government also plans to produce ethanol directly from sugarcane juice. Nitin Gadkari told the representatives of major car manufacturers that the government needs their support to go forward with the plan. In fact, manufacturers can even work with the government to make eco-friendly engines for mass production.

Government To Promote Alternative Fuels In India; Ethanol Included

On the other hand, straws of cotton, wheat or rice can be used to make bioethanol. The Ministry of Petroleum is conducting studies to learn how to convert biomass to ethanol. If they are successful, we can expect both the production and final costs of alternative fuels to drop by a good margin.

Thoughts On Indian Government Promoting Ethanol As A Major Fuel

Fuel prices in India are going on a steep incline and the masses are finding names to blame, each day. The rising prices deserveto be addressed by the right people and the new move to promote alternative fuels such as ethanol is appreciable. Ethanol is a clean-burning eco-friendly fuel with similar characteristics to that of petrol. If ethanol does become an alternative to petrol, we are looking at cheap fuel prices unless it is taxed to the brim.

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