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Government issues draft notification on ethanol blending in petrol

Paving the way for the transformation of the fossil fuel ecosystem in the country, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a draft notification for facilitating use of a blend of 12 per cent and 15 per cent ethanol in gasoline as automotive fuels.

Comments have been invited from stakeholders within a period of 30 days. “The newly manufactured gasoline vehicles fitted with spark ignition engine compatible to run on ethanol gasoline blends of E-12 and E-15 shall be type approved as per prevailing gasoline emission norms,” the draft notification said.

Recently, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said the government will take a decision over flex-fuel engines as it is considering making these mandatory for the automobile industry.

“…I am going to issue an order to the industry that only petrol engines will not be there, there will be flex-fuel engines, where there will be a choice for the people that they can use 100 percent crude oil or 100 per cent ethanol,” he had said.

“I am going to take a decision within 8-10 days and we will make it (flex-fuel engine) mandatory for the automobile industry,” he had further said.

Gadkari had mentioned that automobile makers are producing flex-fuel engines in Brazil, Canada and the US providing an alternative to customers to use 100 percent petrol or 100 per cent bio-ethanol.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the targdate for achieving 20 per cent ethanol-blending with petrol has been advanced by five years to 2025 to cut pollution and reduce import dependence.

The government last year had set a target of reaching 10 percent ethanol blending in petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent doping by 2030.

Gadkari had said ethanol is a better fuel than petrol, and it is an import substitute, cost effective, pollution-free and indigenous.

“It (making flex-fuel engines mandatory) is going to boost the Indian economy because we are a corn surplus, we are a sugar surplus, and a wheat surplus country. We don’t have places to stock all these foodgrains,” he had noted.

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