Every year the 10th of August is observed as World Biofuel Day .The World Biofuel Day highlights the importance of fuels made from biomass like plant or algae material or animal waste as an alternative to fossil fuels. Biofuels are blended with the fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel and used to run buses,cars ,trucks,railways etc.
Why was this day chosen ?
On this day in 1893 the inventor of the Diesel engine,Rudolf Diesel successfully ran his diesel engine on peanut oil. This successful experiment of the German inventor opened a new safer,renewable alternative to fossil girls like petrol and diesel.
History of the World biofuel day
In India, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change started celebrating World Biofuel Day from 2015 onwards.
Theme World Biofuel Day 2023
The theme of the World Biofuel Day 2023 as announced by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is : Biofuels for a Sustainable Future
Biofuel blending target set by the Government of India
Under the National Biofuel policy 2018 as amended in 2022 ,the government of India has set a target of :
10% blending of petrol with ethanol by 2022
20% blending of petrol with ethanol by 2025-26
10% blending of ethanol with diesel or biodiesel by 2030.
Programmes launched by the government of India to promote Biofuel
Ethanol Blended Programme (EBP)
It was launched by the government of India in January 2003. Under the EBP programme the oil marketing companies like Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum etc were to sell 10% ethanol blended petrol all over the country . At present it is being implemented all over India except the Union Territories of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.
Second Generation (2G) Ethanol
In order to increase the production of ethanol in the country the government of India launched Second generation (2G) ethanol project. Unlike the first generation where ethanol were derived from sugarcane molasses in the second generation government allowed the use of include agri-residues like rice & wheat straw, cane trash, corn cobs & stover, cotton stalk, bagasse, Empty Fruit bunches (EFB), etc. Public sector Oil companies were encouraged to set up 2G Ethanol bio refineries.
Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan - Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana
To facilitate production of second generation ethanol, the Government in March, 2019 launched the “Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan - Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana”.
Under the PM JI-VAN Yojana financial support is provided to companies to set up Integrated Bio-ethanol Projects for production of Second Generation (2G) ethanol using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock.
Under the scheme 12 Bio-ethanol Projects will be provided financial incentives . The duration of the scheme is from 2018-19 to 2023-24 and the total budget for the scheme is Rs 1969.50 crore.
Advantage of using Biofuel for India
Adoption of biofuel can help the country in achieving energy security by progressively reducing the import of fossil fuels, mainly petroleum oil and natural gasses. India meets around 83% of its petroleum oil requirement from imports.
Saving of foreign exchange
The increasing adoption of biofuel will help in reducing imports of petroleum oil and gas thus saving foreign exchange for India .
Increase in farmers income
The use of agri residue like rice & wheat straw, cane trash, corn cobs & stover, cotton stalk, bagasse, for production of biofuels will increase the income of the farmers . Presently these agri residues are thrown away by the farmers.
Reduction in pollution
The use of agriculture and forest residue, Municipal Solid Waste , cow dung etc. for production of biofuel help in addressing the pollution issue. At present these residues or waste are burnt or left to decay in the open causing environmental pollution.