The nation has achieved a blending level of 5.09% of the green fuel ethanol in petrol between December 1 2019 and June 22 in 2020. India has made a major target to achieve 10% blending of ethanol (E10) in the vehicle fuel, petrol by 2021. Let’s see the history behind it and the current statistics of its usage.
Crux of the Matter
Story Behind This Mixture
One of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world, the US Clear Act of 1963, required vehicles to use oxygenated gasoline i.e minimum oxygen content of 2% by weight in petrol, to help the vehicle fuel burn more in combustion.
One of the chosen oxygenates was methyl tert-butyl ether, or MTBE, due to its low price and higher availability. However, its high concentration was felt in drinking water, which was then traced back to spilled gasoline and leaky underground containers. Thus, Ethanol was seen as a safer replacement.
The latter was more eco-friendly because when it was used to oxygenate the petrol mixture, it allowed the fuel to burn even more completely and produced cleaner emissions. It was basically beneficial in creating cleaner air quality, rather than using direct fossil fuels.
What Are The Current Statistics?
India has made a target to achieve a 10% blending of ethanol in vehicle fuel, petrol by 2021. E10, a blend of 10-percent ethanol and 90-percent gasoline/petrol, is used in modern-day road transportations.
According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, some states like UP, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and Karnataka blended closer to this goal i.e taking the count between 8.5% and 9.8%.
The Ones Taking The Lead
Despite a less production capacity, Punjab and Haryana are taking the lead in creating this biofuel because of the supplies it’s obtaining from UP. The Indian government is hoping to achieve 7.5-8% blending levels starting from December 2020.
Major credit goes to the increased water availability and acreage under sugarcane cultivation, as per reports by sugar mills and distilleries who committed to supply for the ethanol blending programme (EBP).
Ethanol Can Power Rockets?
Ethanol was earlier used as fuel in primitive bipropellant rocket i.e liquid propelled vehicles, in sync with an oxidizer like liquid oxygen. The German A-4 ballistic rocket, known as V-2 rocket of World War II, credited with the starting of space-age, used ethanol as the main constituent.
Ethanol was mixed with 25% of water to reduce the combustion chamber temperature. The V-2’s design team helped the U.S. develop an ethanol-fueled Redstone rocket that launched the first U.S. satellite.
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