Biofuels are transportation fuels such as ethanol and biomass-based diesel fuel that are made from biomass materials. These fuels are usually blended with petroleum fuels (gasoline and distillate/diesel fuel and heating oil), but they can also be used on their own. Using ethanol reduces the consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel made from crude oil, which can reduce the amount of crude oil imported from other countries.
Ethanol is used extensively as a solvent in the manufacture of varnishes and perfumes; as a preservative for biological specimens; in the preparation of essences and flavorings; in many medicines and drugs; as a disinfectant and in tinctures (e.g., tincture of iodine); as a fuel and gasoline additive. Ethanol has been produced from different sources in the past.
Properties of Ethanol
· It is 10th % pure ethyl alcohol.
· It is highly flammable, non-toxic sweet smelling compound
· Ethanol has a greater affinity for water
· Highly Soluble
· Ethanol has an auto-ignition temperature of 793°F
· Some ethanol blends can conduct electricity
The global fuel ethanol market was valued at USD 78.6 billion in 2018 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% in, 2019–2025. Crude oil and natural gases are commonly used sources for manufacturing fuels across the world. As India has very large area under sugar cultivation, we can also follow the Brazilian route (i.e. using ethanol as motor fuel) of ethanol production. Biofuel refers to the specific type of fuel derived from the natural sources such as plants, organic materials, animal wastes. Biofuel industry is gaining substantial attraction as alternative fuel for the petroleum derived fuels in order to mitigate major concerns of global warming, raised due to the fossil fuels. The market is mostly driven by rising environmental concerns and the need to reduce GHG emissions.
Government has been promoting use of ethanol as a blend stock with main automotive fuel like petrol in line with the National Policy on Biofuels -2018 under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme. This policy envisages an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030. Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) has informed that the production of ethanol varies from distillery to distillery and depends upon various factors viz. cost of raw material, conversion cost, efficiency of distillery plants etc. Several supply and demand side interventions have been initiated by the Government including enhancing scope of raw material for ethanol production and fixing remunerative prices of ethanol from different feedstocks being utilized for ethanol production.
Few Indian Major Players
1. Ashley Bio-Fuels Ltd.
2. Biomax Fuels Ltd.
3. Costal Energy Ltd.
4. Creda - H P C L Biofuel Ltd.
5. K B K Chem-Engineering Pvt. Ltd.
6. Rattan Industries Ltd
7. Uttranchal Biodiesel Ltd.