Regulatory status of Ethanol as a fuel in India
Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, or alcohol) is an organic chemical compound with chemical formula C2H5OH. Besides the EBP Programme, ethanol finds competitive usage in the potable sector and the chemical & pharmaceutical industry. Demand for ethanol as a fuel is primarily driven by blending mandates, widespread availability of fuel, and compatible vehicles and fulfilment of other infrastructural requirements.
Ethanol Blending Programme
Achieving energy security and the transitioning to a thriving low carbon economy is critical for a growing nation like India. Blending locally produced ethanol with petrol will help India strengthen its energy security, enable local enterprises and farmers to participate in the energy economy and reduce vehicular emissions.
The Government of India notified the National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 (NPB–2018) on 4.06.2018 wherein, under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Program, an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030 was laid out.
Regulatory status of ethanol as a fuel
The regulatory status and implementation details are as follows
- Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India announced a Biodiesel Purchase Policy which became effective 1st January 2006.
- On 10.08.2015, Government allowed direct sale of Biodiesel (B100) for blending with diesel to Bulk Consumers such as Railways, State Road Transport Corporations. On 29.06.2017 Government allowed sale of biodiesel to all consumers for blending with diesel.
- E5 [blending 5% Ethanol with 95% gasoline] was notified in 2015 by MoRT&H. The rubber and plastic components used in gasoline vehicles produced since 2008 are compatible with E10 fuel.
- Government has notified Guidelines for sale of biodiesel for blending with High Speed Diesel for transportation purposes on 30.4.2019. Through this Notification Government has granted permission exclusively for sale of biodiesel (B-100) only and not for any mixture thereof of whatever percentage.
- E10 [blending 10% Ethanol with 90% gasoline] was notified in 2019 by MoRT&H . The rubber and plastic components used in gasoline vehicles are currently compatible with E10 fuel.
- Setting of standards for E5 (Ethanol 5%, Petrol 95%), E10 and E20 blends of Ethanol blended petrol (Bureau of India Standards, BIS). The specifications of E20 as a commercial fuel have been indicated in IS: 17021: 2018 by BIS.
- BS-VI Emission norms in effect since 1st April 2020 are applicable for E-20 Vehicles
- The use of E-85 fuel (85% ethanol by volume) was notified in 2016 for 4 wheeled vehicles, 3 wheelers and 2 wheelers. E100 [pure ethanol] for use in gasoline vehicles and ED95 [95% ethanol and 5% additives (co-solvent, corrosion inhibitors and ignition improvers)] for diesel vehicles have also been included in the same notification. The emission standards of E 85 and E 100 fuels have also been notified.
- The Ministry has notified GSR 156(E) on 8th March 2021 for adoption of mass emission standards for E20 fuel. The compatibility of a vehicle with the level of ethanol blend of E20 or E85 or E100 or ED95 is required to be defined by the vehicle manufacturer, and the same is required to be displayed on the vehicle by putting a clearly visible sticker.
- The Safety Standard (Automotive Industry Standard AIS 171) for various blends of ethanol with gasoline has been notified vide G S R 343 (E) dated 25th May 2021 . The standard recommends material which is compatible with ethanol, viz., rubber, plastics etc. Ethanol blends increase electrical conductivity compared to gasoline, which causes corrosion of metal junctions. Therefore, the need to specify addition of corrosion inhibitors is also included. It also discusses (a) the toxic and carcinogenic nature of pure ethanol, (b) the necessity of personal protective equipment (PPE) for persons exposed to ethanol at the storage point (c) the need to have provisions for venting, flame arrestors and foam-based fire extinguishers for fighting ethanol flames. The standard also specifies labels for ethanol blends to be used in vehicles.
Source : Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25 by NITI Aayog
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