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Government permits extraction of Ethanol for blending from foodgrains

The Government has widened the ambit of Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme to extract the fuel from excess quantities of bajra, maize, jawar, and fruit or vegetable waste.

The decision that was taken on 26 November will be valid for procurement for ethanol supply year 2018-2019. So far, only surplus sugarcane production was permissible to be converted into ethanol for procurement under the fuel blending programme.

According to an official statement, the decision will benefit farmers as they will be able to make extra money from surplus production and also expand the sources for producing ethanol for the EBP programme.

The statement further said, “The National Policy on Biofuels 2018 has empowered the National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) to let conversion of excess quantities of foodgrains for production of ethanol in an agriculture crop year when there is projected oversupply of foodgrains as projected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare”.

The statement mentioned that “The matter was discussed during the first meeting of NBCC on 14 November, which approved the procurement of ethanol produced from excess quantities of bajra, maize and jawar as projected by the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry, for EBP programme for ethanol supply year 2018-2019”.

Meanwhile, the NBCC has also approved the proposal to generate ethanol from other feedstock like fruit and vegetable wastes for the EBP programme.

Under the EBP programme, the government has urged the oil marketing companies (OMCs) to target 10% blending of ethanol with petrol by 2022. But, there is a major deficit in the availability of ethanol because sugar mills presently tap only ‘C-heavy’ molasses for ethanol production.



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