India plans E20 fuel to cut emissions, oil imports

India plans E20 fuel to cut vehicular emissions, reduce oil imports

Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. Credit: PTI file photo.

Aimed at reducing vehicular emissions and   the country’s oil import bill, the Centre has proposed the adoption of E20 fuel — a blend of 20% of ethanol and gasoline — as an automobile fuel.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has published a draft notification and invited comments from the public for adoption of the E20 fuel. Though the current permissible level of blending is 10% of ethanol, India reached only 5.6% of blending in 2019. Adoption of E20 fuel means blending of 20% of ethanol with gasoline as an automotive fuel.

“The notification facilitates the development of E20-compliant vehicles. It will also help in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, etc. It will help reduce the oil import bill, thereby saving foreign exchange and boosting energy security," said a statement from the Road Transport ministry.

Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has been pushing for promoting green fuel like ethanol to reduce huge Rs 8 lakh crore crude import dependence.

The minister aldo had said that the government aspires to take the ethanol economy to Rs 2 lakh crore in the next five years from Rs 22,000 crore at present.

Ethanol is a biofuel and a common by-product of biomass left by agricultural feedstock including  corn, sugarcane, hemp and potato.

Adoptation of E20 fuel will also help in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, etc, the statement said.

The move will help reduce the oil import bill, thereby saving foreign exchange and boosting energy security, it added.

"The compatibility of the vehicle to the percentage of ethanol in the blend of ethanol and gasoline shall be defined by the vehicle manufacturer and the same shall be displayed on the vehicle by putting a clearly visible sticker," the statement said.