India can start using 50 per cent ethanol in aviation fuel, and the Indian government will soon start discussions and trials on this, said Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways.


He added that flex-fuel vehicles will be on roads once the Supreme Court gives the permission. He was addressing a question-and-answer session at a webinar on alternative fuel organised by the Indian Sugar Mill Association (ISMA).

He said the government will seek the help of Brazilian authorities to start the programme of blending ethanol in aviation fuel. Gadkari said that Brazil, under its Air Force programme, is adding 50 per cent ethanol in aviation fuel and India will communicate with the authorities of the concerned department.

“I will call the meeting (to discuss this). If it is allowed in Brazil, why not in India? Using 50 per cent ethanol in aviation fuel can also increase the demand for ethanol,” he said.

Gadkari asked ISMA to find out the details of Brazil’s Air Force programme and said that India could start trials and adopt this policy. He added that he would meet the Air Force Chief to discuss this issue.

Flex-fuel vehicles

When asked when flex-fuel vehicles would hit the roads, the Minister said: “We can run vehicles, including autos on 100 per cent ethanol and increase the demand. Even for cars BMW, Mercedes, Toyato, Honda, all brands can make flex engine so that in place of 100 per cent per petrol they could use ethanol.”

In his inaugural address Gadkari said: “ Currently, the ethanol economy is ₹20,000 crore, which I am targeting to raise to ₹2-lakh crore.

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As per the study conducted by Indian Oil Corporation, the existing vehicles running on Indian roads currently can take up to 13 per cent ethanol-blended petrol without any modification in the engine and any loss in its efficiency.”

The Minister added: “Accordingly, the government has fixed BIS standards for E12 and E15, which will be slowly rolled out over the next couple of years to move from the 10 per cent blending expected to be achieved in 2022 to 20 per cent blending by 2025.”

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