Ethanol? The Next Green Alternative for India?

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What exactly is Ethanol Fuel?

Ethanol fuel is, by definition, a simple ethyl alcohol derivative. It’s the same substance that’s in alcoholic drinks. Ethanol fuel is a biofuel that is used as the primary fuel or as an addition in gasoline-powered engines.

Who would have guessed that your Friday night drink could also be used to power your car?

Ethanol is a frequent byproduct of biomass left over from agricultural feedstocks including maize, sugarcane, hemp (bhaang), potato, and so on. The top two ethanol producers in the world are the United States of America (62.2 percent) and Brazil (25 percent).

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In India, Ethanol Fuel

Ethanol fuel is not a new concept in India. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) originally recommended ethanol as an automotive fuel in 2003, with an initial announcement stipulating a 5% and 10% blending afterwards.

However, in order to reduce India’s carbon footprint and future environmental effect, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy drafted a national policy that set a target of 20 percent bio-ethanol blending by 2017. This also aided in lowering India’s reliance on Gulf countries for crude oil (India spends around 7 lakh crore on crude oil import). The introduction of ethanol biofuel is being phased in. Furthermore, according to media sources, Brazil and India are scheduled to sign a memorandum of agreement on.

What modifications are required to run?

Ethanol has a higher octane rating (113) than regular gasoline. As a result, the compression ratio may be raised for greater fuel consumption.This higher compression ratio, on the other hand, will place around 20% more strain on the engine and its components (piston, crank, valves etc.). As a result, ethanol-powered engines are more stiff and strengthened than traditional engines.

Second, because ethanol has a low heating value in its purest form, E100, a greater flow of ethanol is required to provide the same quantity of energy. This necessitates significant changes to the fuel intake and injector in order to give additional gasoline.

Third, ethanol has a higher RON value (which goes from 0 to 100 and defines the behaviour of the fuel in the engine during combustion), indicating that it is more resistant to spontaneous detonation. The usage of ethanol necessitates the installation of an extra heating system.

This is why ethanol E100 fueled cars have difficulty starting in cooler weather. To provide the initial crank, an additional gasoline tank is installed.

Also Read, Hydrogen Fuel Cell: Everything you Need to Know Future of Vehicles

Is Ethanol Safe to Use in Diesel Engines?

Yes, a 15% ethanol-diesel combination known as e-diesel may be utilised to power diesel vehicles to some extent. In truth, ethanol is utilised in diesel-powered Scania trucks in Sweden as an ignition booster and lubrication additive.

However, due to its low flash point and safety concerns, utilising ethanol in a diesel engine is still not a cost-effective alternative to gasoline.

Is it a Sustainably Produced Fuel?

Ethanol has been dubbed the “green fuel” or “future fuel,” yet there are questions about its responsible and sustainable supply. Because the generation and burning of ethanol completes a full cycle, it is a plant derivative and a “renewable” energy source. When ethanol burns completely, it emits carbon dioxide and water. However, some energy is required to generate ethanol, which contradicts ethanol’s status as a renewable resource.

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What Are the Benefits of Ethanol Fuel?

Ethanol fuel is less expensive than alternative biofuels: Because almost every country has the potential to generate it, ethanol fuel is the least priced energy option. Corn, sugarcane, and grain grow in practically every country, making production cost-effective when compared to fossil fuels. Fossil fuels may be detrimental to the economies of most countries, particularly emerging countries that lack the resources to search for them. As a result, it makes sense for these developing countries to focus on the manufacture of ethanol fuel in order to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and save money.

  • Ethanol has a greater octane rating than gasoline, which helps to prevent engine knocking.
  • Ethanol is a high-compression, high-performance fuel with a high octane rating of 113.
  • Because ethanol contains more oxygen than gasoline, it burns cleaner and greener.
  • As a fuel, ethanol does not degrade and leaves little to no deposits.
  • Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline and helps to clean the fuel system.

What Are the Difficulties With Using Ethanol Fuel in India?

Ethanol fuel is created utilising biomass derived from agricultural products, implying a heavy reliance on agriculture. The ethanol fuel sector is also confronted with issues as a result of its influence on agriculture and land usage. Farmers will have to remove more land, which will have an impact on native fauna. Ethanol is also used in the pharmaceutical, beverage, and chemical industries, thus it faces tough competition from these businesses.

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Is it Capable of Saving the Internal Combustion Engine, or Is Electric the Way of the Future?

To be honest, both ethanol and electric face a slew of hurdles in terms of production, sustainability, environmental effect, and so on.

Electric vehicles rely on power provided by the combustion of coal, as well as lithium-ion batteries, of which India has a little supply. This entails more environmental harm and more reliance on foreign goods, which will lead to currency depletion.

Choosing one over the other is a matter of what is best for humanity’s future.