What is Ethanol?

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The growth of ethanol sector has been tremendous which has set a sort of example for the world, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry while addressing one day seminar on ‘National Seminar on Maize to Ethanol’ organized by Department of Food and Public Distribution here recently.

About Ethanol:

  • Ethanol is an agricultural by-product which is mainly obtained from the processing of sugar from sugarcane, but also from other sources such as rice husk or maize.
  • Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, it is also considered as renewable fuel.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.
  • Ethanol blending is the process of combining ethanol and petrol to use less fossil fuel while driving a vehicle.
  • To supplement ethanol supplies, the Government of India has permitted the procurement of ethanol produced from sources other than molasses, which is known as first generation ethanol or 1G.
  • Aside from molasses, ethanol can be derived from rice straw, wheat straw, maize cobs, corn stover, bagasse, bamboo and woody biomass, which are known as second generation ethanol sources or 2G.

Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme:

  • The EBP programme was launched by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 2003, to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels.
  • Under this programme, starting with 5% blending, the government later increased the target of 10% ethanol blending by 2022.
  • India's goal is to grow this ratio to 20% by 2030, but when the NITI Aayog released the ethanol roadmap in 2021, that deadline was advanced to 2025.


Q1) What are 3 non-renewable fuels?

Nonrenewable energy resources include coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear energy.

Source: Growth of Ethanol sector is an example for the world: Shri Goyal