From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme
Mains level : EBP Programme
- The Union Cabinet has approved a higher procurement price for ethanol purchased by oil marketing companies for the ethanol blended petrol (EBP) programme.
- Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme was launched in January, 2003 for supply of 5% ethanol blended Petrol.
- The programme sought to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.
- OMCs are advised to continue according priority of ethanol from 1) sugarcane juice/sugar/sugar syrup, 2) B-heavy molasses 3) C-heavy molasses and 4) damaged food grains/other sources.
- At present, this programme has been extended to whole of India except UTs of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands with effect from 01st April, 2019 wherein OMCs sell petrol blended with ethanol up to 10%.
About the decision
- According to the new decision, the price of ethanol from C-heavy molasses will be increased from ₹43.46 per litre to ₹43.75 per litre.
- The price of ethanol from B-heavy molasses will be increased from ₹52.43 per litre to ₹54.27 per litre. The price of ethanol from sugarcane juice, sugar, and sugar syrup has been set at ₹59.48 per litre.
- The oil marketing companies will also pay the GST and transportation tax associated with the ethanol supply — a provision that existed in the previous plan as well.
- Ethanol, an anhydrous ethyl alcohol having chemical formula of C2H5OH, can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc which are having high starch content.
- In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.
- Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.
- As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
- Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.