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“Bio-Fuel”: The Need of the Hour and a Great Solution to ‘Save the Earth’!

“Bio-Fuel”: The Need of the Hour and a Great Solution to ‘Save the Earth’! October 7, 2019Leave a comment

Few Important Fact Checks :

  • Did you know, that since last 100 years the average temperature has been about 15 degree Celsius, but just in the last 3 decades, there has been 0.6 degree Celsius rise in overall Global temperatures and it is rapidly rising!
  • Also, Forget buying that new Mercedes! You might have to stock up on speedboats or live on a houseboat as Satellite images and readings denote that every year, the sea level rises by 3 mm. Also, contributing to the rise in water levels is the melting of ice caps. 390 billion tons of snow and ice melts each year as the globe warming increases.
  • The Current world population marks up to almost 8 billion and a study says it might reach 10 billion in the next 50 years. Scary! Yes, maybe, more people many less space and more consumption of resources.

So if these Facts made you go wide-eyed, It is really time to wake up to Global Warming!

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And the biggest contributor to pollution is our Vehicles. Not only the carbon emissions but the menace of traffic everywhere is the problem we need to immediately tackle. Coming to Carbon Emissions, The Fuel we use to power our Cars and Vehicles plays a major role in this. And considering that Petrol and Diesel have been proven evil by environmentalists, that leaves us to discover or invent a New FUEL, that reduces this pollution. That’s where , ETHANOL or BIO-FUEL makes its entry.

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Mr. Nitin Gadkari – Minister of Transport, Highways and Shipping, has been a actively involved in promoting Bio-fuel and suggested conversion of sugarcane to Ethanol or Bio Fuel. He believes that farmers will get a profit of Rs. 2,00,000 per acre for growing Fuel Crops instead of food crops and Ethanol would not only reduce India’s energy import bill but lower cost to the consumer, reduce consumption of oil, and obviously lessen the environmental impact.

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Although generating Bio-fuel from Jetropha Plant has been widely spread, He insists that the Government invest more for innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and research which is required in agriculture . There is a food surplus in the country which remains quite underutilised. “While the farmers produce surplus, they are not getting adequate price,” he said. Further, he stated that diversifying to bio-fuel is a viable alternative.

Milestones achieved with Ethanol in India:

  • Nagpur boasts of India’s first ethanol-run city passenger transport bus. “Today the nation imports petrol, diesel and gas worth over Rs 6 lakh crore every year. We can reduce imports by at least Rs 2 lakh crore by using alternative fuels. Ethanol-run bus project is the first initiative in this direction,” said Nitin Gadkari.
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  • Spicejet flew India’s First Bio-Fuel Powered Flight. This is a huge step as it will reduce cost of purchasing aviation fuel by up to 50 per cent and bring down fares, which eventually will make airline tickets affordable.
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So, What is ETHANOL or BIO-FUEL?

Ethanol is a Plant-alcohol based fuel, which is mixed with existing fuels like petrol, diesel to obtain a Environment-friendly and Low Cost MIXED FUEL. They get rated according to amount of ethanol contained in them, for eg. E10, which contains 10% ethanol, E15 which contains 15% alcohol and more blends like these. The production of ethanol is obtained by reconverting sugarcane. Other crops include corn, barley, sorghum which are used to process to create ethanol, and it is called the milling process.

Process of Making ETHANOL:

First, the sugarcane crop is ground into grain to be processed and then converted into sugar. This is done by adding water and enzymes, and putting it through a cooking process. Once cooked, the mash is fermented. In this process, Microbes or bacteria feed on this sugar, and as end result produce ethanol. The Produced Ethanol is then distilled to reach a high concentration. Farmers can easily produce ethanol from other feedstock like bamboo, rice straw, cotton straw and wheat straw as well.

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Benefits of Using ETHANOL:

1. Ethanol when mixed with Petrol or Diesel, does not reduce energy or horsepower of the vehicle, instead it reduces release of pollutants and particulate matter upto 30% than just petrol or diesel.

2. The cost of Fuel is reduced if ethanol mixed fuel is used

3. This also means, there will be huge cut in reducing Oil imports for India

4. Mainly, Farmers who were in loss, over crops not selling, can earn huge if the shift is made from food crops to Fuel Crops and Agricultural industry will get a huge boost.

So this is how Bio-Fuel may prove as a Huge boon for us as citizens, in reducing Pollution and for Farmers, in increasing their earnings and ensure more SMART cities and villages in India.

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