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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 16 July, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

Biofuels

Biofuels

Researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad are studying impediments to incorporating biofuels into the fuel sector in India.

Significance of Biofuels:

  • Biofuels in India are of strategic importance as it augers well with the ongoing initiatives of the Government such as Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and Skill Development and offers a great opportunity to integrate with the ambitious targets of doubling Farmer's Income, Import Reduction, Employment Generation, Waste to Wealth Creation.

What are Biofuels?

  • Any hydrocarbon fuel that is produced from organic matter in a short period of time is considered a biofuel.
  • Biofuels may be solid, liquid or gaseous in nature.
    • Solid: Wood, dried plant material, and manure
    • Liquid: Bioethanol and Biodiesel
    • Gaseous: Biogas

Classification of Biofuels:

  • 1st generation biofuels are also called conventional biofuels.
    • They are made from things like sugar, starch, or vegetable oil.
    • These are all food products.
    • Any biofuel made from a feedstock that can also be consumed as human food is considered a first-generation biofuel.
  • 2nd generation biofuels are produced from sustainable feedstock.
    • The sustainability of a feedstock is defined by its availability, its impact on greenhouse gas emissions, its impact on land use, and its potential to threaten the food supply.
    • No second-generation biofuel is also a food crop.
    • Second-generation biofuels are often called “advanced biofuels.”
  • 3rd generation biofuels are biofuels derived from algae.
    • These biofuels have unique production mechanism and their potential to mitigate most of the drawbacks of 1st and 2nd generation biofuels.
  • 4th generation biofuels: In the production of these fuels, crops that are genetically engineered to take in high amounts of carbon are grown and harvested as biomass.
    • The crops are then converted into fuel using second-generation techniques.

Government of India initiatives to promote the use of Biofuels:

Since 2014, the Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to increase the blending of biofuels.

  • The major interventions include an administrative price mechanism for ethanol, amending the provisions of the Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951
  • The Government approved the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 in June 2018. The policy has the objective of reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030.
  • The policy expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels.

Source: TH


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