08 November, 2019
4 Min Read
Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
News: The Ministry of Environment and Forests announced that mills would not require separate environmental clearance to produce additional ethanol from B-heavy molasses
For Prelims focus: About ethanol and its benefits.
For Mains focus: Need for blending and the demand for increased production
Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is a liquid that has several uses. At 95% purity, it is called rectified spirit and is used as the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages. At 99%-plus purity, ethanol is used for blending with petrol.
The molasses go through three stages — A, B, and C, the last one being where the molasses are most un-crystallised and non-recoverable.
How more ethanol can be produced?
Mills can also produce only ethanol from sugarcane, without producing sugar at all. In this case, the entire 14% TFS in the cane is fermented. Here, a mill can make 84 litres of ethanol and zero kg of sugar.
Focusing on more ethanol
Mills currently have all-time-high stocks of sugar, and they have been at loggerheads with farmers over non-payment of dues.
Mill owners insist that the reason behind their woes is excess production of sugar and fall in its price.
Under the circumstances, ethanol is the only real saviour — both for mills and cane growers.
Source: The Hindu
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