From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme
Mains level : Not Much
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has notified mass emission standards for E 12 (12% Ethanol with Gasoline) and E15 (15% Ethanol 12 with gasoline) fuels.
What is the news?
- The ministry has notified test standards for vehicles compliant with ethanol-blended fuel variants E12 and E15.
- The ministry made it mandatory for all automobile manufacturers to put “clearly visible stickers” on every vehicle informing about its compatibility to the level of ethanol blend (E12, E15, E20).
- Currently, India is using E10 fuel (petrol blended with 10% ethanol).
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%.
Why ethanol blending?
- Agricultural waste management: Ethanol blending will solve the problem of agricultural waste as well as sugar rates due to excess production, therefore providing security to sugarcane farmers.
- Reducing emission: It can help accomplish dual goal of strengthening energy security with low carbon emission.
- Enhanced participation: It will enable local enterprises and farmers to participate in the energy economy.
- Reducing import bill: It is another significant benefit. India imports 85% of crude oil.
- Fuel efficiency: Ethanol blending increases octane number thereby increasing fuel quality in terms of anti-knocking tendency (engine sound)