Meeting To Discuss Prospects Of Ethanol

Hyderabad, September 23: | Updated: Sep 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
The potential for biofuels or cleaner fuels can help the country save about Rs 830 crore foreign exchange annually. By using ethanol as a substitute for gasoline and biodiesel for petro, diesel, biofuels help to reduce air pollution and dependance on oil report, according to a report submitted by the Planning Commission.

With energy diversification and added fuel choice, biofuels are renewable and eco-friendly. Produced from biomass such as sugarcane, molasses, sweet sorghum, grains and oilseeds, the usage of these fuels are already wide spread in the US, Europe, Brazil and China which has led to higher biomass yield and rural employment.

According to the ministry of pertroleum and natural gas, the country needs about 500 million litres of ethanol per annum. With the approval from the Union ministry for blending five per cent of ethanol with petrol, the demand for biofuels is expected to double over the next decade.

In this regard, to stress the usage and importance of biofuels, APITCO Ltd, an industrial and technology consultancy agency, is organising a national level conference on Prospects of ethanol - A sustainable biofuel on September 26. The meet is being organised to showcase the tremendous demand for biofuels as alternate fuels for transportation sector besides discussing the policy issues.

Biofuels act as an alternative source of energy. They are extracted from tree-borne oil seeds like jatropha, pongamia, karanja, etc. The extract can be mixed with conventional diesel oil. Andhra Pradesh, where these plants are grown in wastelands, has estimated about 7.3 lakh hectares area to grow these hardy trees, said an APITCO release.