BENGALURU: Officials from Karnataka State Bioenergy Development Board (KSBDB) are working with Oil Manufacturing Companies (OMCs) to increase the percentage of ethanol in petrol to ensure that large quantities of ethanol generated in the state is fully utilised, while aiming to address vehicular pollution and phase out dependence on fossil fuels.
At present 10 per cent ethanol is blended in every litre of petrol, but officials are working to beat the target set by the Central government and blend up to 85 per cent ethanol.
“At present a private company from Karnataka is undertaking trials on 85 per cent ethanol blend as is being done in buses in Nagpur (Maharashtra). The same can be done in Karnataka too. This is the best solution at hand to address the issue of vehicular emission. Gradually increasing the blending quantity will not affect engines and does not require special calibrations,” explained Dr G N Dayananda, Manager, KSBDB.
As per Central government directions, ethanol blend in vehicles should increase to 25 per cent by 2025, but Karnataka government is in talks with OMCs to set a higher target. According to KSBDB data, 28 sugar factories in the state which were producing 11 lakh kilo litres of ethanol per day, have now increased by 20 per cent in six months. With new distillation technologies, juices from sugarcane is directly being used for ethanol production. Due to limited demand in Karnataka, ethanol is also supplied to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Ethanol is being sold at Rs 48-64 a litre, depending upon the quality, whereas aviation fuel is sold at Rs 150 a litre.
Plans on to make ethanol from waste, says Nirani
Large and Medium Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani told TNSE that, in Karnataka, there is a 25% excess sugar production which is being used in ethanol production. The government is in talks with companies to use 100% ethanol and gradually phase out dependence on fossil fuels. The government has set a target of next 10 years to achieve this. Government is also encouraging industries to set up units for hybrid engine manufacturing in the state.
Nirani said it has been proved that ethanol increases engine efficiency and is now helping farmers. The government is also working on second generation ethanol production (from municipal solid waste). Simultaneously, bio-diesel is also being focused on.
Work is in progress on increasing procurement of waste, used edible cooking oil from hotels and restaurants, which can be used in generation of bio-diesel. Researchers and units are being pushed to increase generation of oils from non-edible oil seeds which can be blended with diesel. OMCs have also shown interest in increasing the blend in petrol and diesel. Sources in Bharat Petroleum said at present there is seven per cent bio-diesel and is available at very few fuel stations. If supply is increased, the blend would also increase, they said.
GIM EXPECTED TO BRING IN RS 5 LAKH CR INVESTMENT: MIN
Karnataka is expected to attract investments to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore during the upcoming Global Investors Meet (GIM) in Bengaluru. Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani said this will have the potential to generate employment opportunities for around five lakh people. “We are confident of reaching the target and doing even better,” he told TNSE on Saturday. The State Level Single Window Clearance Committee and the High-Level Committee have already cleared Rs 3.4 lakh crore investment proposals