Govt eyes new fuel, ethanol, methanol

Govt eyes new fuel, ethanol, methanol

 Aiming at reducing fuel import burden, the Centre will soon come out with a new policy on non-conventional fuel sources like ethanol and methanol.

After chairing an inter-ministerial meeting attended by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, among others here on Monday, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters that the Petroleum Ministry will prepare a policy to encourage non-conventional energy sources including ethanol and methanol and send it for Cabinet approval.

As India’s fuel import bill crosses $64 billion per annum, exploring and generating second generation ethanol production would cut fuel imports by at least Rs 1 lakh crore per annum, and create employment to around 25 lakh youths, he said.

He said that at present ethanol is derived from molasses, which is barely 119 crore litres against a minimum requirement of about 500 crore litres.

“We get hardly 3% ethanol whereas we can mix 22% in petrol. There is shortage of 19%. We can make second generation ethanol from bamboo, cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw, bagass, etc. This will generate employment for 25 lakh rural youth. The industry will be of Rs 1 lakh crore size,” the minister said.

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