PM to inaugurate World Biofuel Day programme

• World Biofuel Day is observed every year on August 10 to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels.

• This day is observed to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green fuels or Bio-fuels). Bio-fuels are renewable, bio-degradable, sustainable and environment friendly fuel. It can be an alternative to conventional fossil fuels.

Background

• On this day in 1893, Sir Rudalph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with peanut oil.

• His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines.

Ethanol Blending

• Ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 38 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2013-14 to an estimated 141 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2017-18. This is on the back of the Government increasing the prices of C-heavy molasses-based ethanol to Rs 43.70 from Rs 40.85 to give a boost to ethanol blending programme.

• Prices of B-heavy molasses-based ethanol and sugarcane juice-based ethanol has been fixed for the first time at Rs 47.40. The government has reduced the GST on ethanol for blending in fuel from 18 percent to 5 percent.

• Oil PSUs are also planning to set up 12-second-generation biorefineries to augment ethanol supply and address environmental issues arising out of the burning of agricultural biomass.

• The government has also approved the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 in June 2018. The policy has the objective of reaching 20 percent ethanol blending and 5 percent biodiesel blending by 2030. Among other things, the policy expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for the production of advanced biofuels.