Silica is also known as silicon dioxide, a chemical component found in sand, gravel, clay, granite, and other rock types. It is a dense and intricate substance comprised of silicon and oxygen, the two most prevalent elements in the earth’s crust. It is the principal component of most types of sand and a critical part of glass-making. Making glass items out of silica is a centuries-old craft with a wide range of modern industrial applications. These include abrasives, construction supplies, fillers, electronics, and water filtration.


  • The chemical and physical features include hardness, colour, melting and boiling points, and reactivity.
  • It is a solid, crystallised mineral at standard temperature and pressure conditions. It is relatively hard, scoring a 7 on the Mohs scale, which compares the hardness of minerals. Diamond, the hardest mineral, is a 10 on the scale.
  • Pure silica is colourless. However, quartz may appear coloured if impurities are present. Rose quartz, for example, is silica with traces of iron. Because of this, it appears pink. Silica containing liquid or air bubble inclusions, known as milky quartz, gives the crystal a white appearance.
  • It has extremely high melting and boiling points: 3,110 °F and 4,046 °F, respectively. E.g. Silica sand is melted in a large, hot furnace to manufacture glass.
  • It reacts with hydrofluoric acid, used in the semiconductor industry to carve quartz.
  • It also reacts with metal oxides such as sodium oxide and lead oxide. These reactions create several glass forms, such as borosilicate and leaded glass. Borosilicate glass is a form that withstands temperature fluctuations, used in laboratory glassware.


Crystalline Silica

The chemical term of this type is silicon dioxide (SiO2). Numerous rocks (sandstone, granite, sand) contain various proportions of crystalline silica, mostly quartz. Sand is a source of crystalline silica since it is almost entirely comprised of quartz. The existence of crystals can be seen on a small scale because It has a 3-dimensional structure that creates crystalline domains.

Found in – It is a natural material found in stone, soil, and sand and is also present in concrete, brick, mortar, and other construction materials.

Subtypes – There are three primary forms of crystalline silica in the earth’s crust: quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite.

Benefits & Uses

It has many industrial uses, including as an excipient in pharmaceuticals and vitamins, as a food additive (i.e., an anti-caking agent), as a way to clarify liquids, control viscosity, as an anti-foaming agent, and as a dough modifier. Also, have a use case to construct glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, and artificial stone.


Inhalation is the principal route of exposure to crystalline silica. Because, at first it must be ground or crushed before utilising as an absorbent, granulation, or filler in building materials. At this point, it would be processed to create tiny particles. Once inhaled, these small particles can cause various illnesses or bodily dysfunctions, the most serious of which are silicosis and lung cancer.

Exposure to silica particles when cutting, grinding, drilling, sanding, combining or demolishing silica-containing materials of construction workers results in long-term harm. The amount of risk determined by the size of the airborne silica particles. Smaller particles breathed deeply into the lungs could cause long-term damage. Larger particles, such as beach sand, are less of an issue because they are too big to inhale.

Non-crystalline silica

Amorphous silica is another name for non-crystalline silica. The term “amorphous” refers to the lack of a defined shape or form and the fact that it is not a salt crystal. Amorphous silica gel is a white powder with a fine sand-like texture, and it has a silvery sheen to it.

Found in – Commonly found in glass, silicon carbide, and silicone.

Subtypes – It can be natural or manufactured, anhydrous or surface-hydrated containing silanol groups. Micro amorphous silica and vitreous silica (glass) are synthetic amorphous silica.

Benefits & Uses

There are numerous beneficial qualities for manufacturing a wide range of valuable products. One of the properties includes the ability to absorb and filter water. Because of its propensity to absorb moisture from the air, silica gel has been employed as a desiccant in those small bags that are usually found in products to guard against excess moisture. A different form of amorphous silica acts as an agent in toothpaste, cosmetics, food packaging, and food additives.


Exposure to amorphous silica in quantities prevalent in the environment or industrial items like cosmetics has no known negative impact on health. It may cause respiratory illnesses in employees (although not silicosis, according to a few reports). Studies on lab animals show that inhaling amorphous silica is less dangerous than crystalline silica, despite the possibility of lung irritation and damage.


Electricity is a beneficial alternative to power several modes of transportation to make them more environmentally friendly. Since an electric car emits no harmful pollutants, it lowers greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Also, this would aid in tackling the planet’s climate concerns. Also, these environmental crisis has prompted the government to take the lead in making significant changes over the past years. According to a report published in 2021, the transportation sector, which serves as an economic infrastructure for travel and freight, accounts for 25% of total energy consumption. Hence, e-mobility is one such initiative to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel derivatives.

The proposal is to enable automobiles’ electric propulsion by using electric powertrain technology, in-vehicle information, connectivity, and connected infrastructures. Plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles use powertrain technology to convert hydrogen fuel into electricity.

There are more types of electric vehicles than e-cars, e-scooters, e-bikes, e-motorcycles, e-buses, and e-trucks. They all have a battery and charging systems, are powered entirely or partly by electricity, and primarily obtain their energy from the grids through distribution networks that follow set standards. Thus, combining all these aspects completes the ecosystem for electric mobility. Corporate fuel economy, pollution standards, and market expectations for lower operating costs drive e-mobility initiatives.

Different types of e-mobility vehicles

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

BEV is commonly known as a pure electric vehicle. This type of electric vehicle has an extensive rechargeable battery on-board that provides all the energy the car needs to propel forward. Examples include the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, and Nissan Leaf.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV):

HEVs are series hybrids or parallel hybrids with engines and electric motors. Where the engine powered by fuel, while batteries power the motor. Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors, which use energy stored in batteries. Hybrid electric vehicle batteries are charged through regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine. The extra power provided by the electric motor can allow for a smaller engine. The battery can also power auxiliary loads and reduce engine idling when stopped. Together, these features result in better fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV):

PHEVs, also a series hybrid, have an engine and a motor. You can pick between conventional fuel (such as gasoline) and alternative fuel (such as bio-diesel). A rechargeable battery pack can also power it. External charging is possible for the battery.

Contributors in e-mobility sector

Mobility sector combines a group of stakeholders who is essential for the success of electro mobility system. The efficient and effective functionality of these stakeholders ensures the smooth functioning of the system.

Manufacturers of EVs and accessories:

An electric vehicle is built and operated in large part by automakers (also known as auto OEMs) and other businesses including battery manufacturers, EV accessory manufacturers, maintenance service providers, etc.

Charge station manufacturers:

The companies that fall under this category are ChargePoint Inc., ABB, Tesla, Engie, AeroVironment, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Efacec, Bosch, etc. They develop the hardware and software for the charging stations in accordance with different standards and guidelines. However, in addition to selling their gear and software to charge point operators, several manufacturers also function as CPOs and EMPs/MSPs.

Charge Point Operator (CPO):

The administration and technical facets of the charging station are under the control of the charge point operator (CPO). Today, there are numerous charge point operators in every country who offer a variety of functions and station designs. These are just a few of the duties that a typical charge point operator might have: Installation, operation, maintenance, and servicing of charge stations are all technically based. Billing input to EMP, accessibility, authorization for roaming, etc. are administrative aspects.

E-Mobility Service Providers:

E-mobility service providers make it feasible for electric vehicle users to use the infrastructure for charging (EMSP or EMP). Many EMP may engage in arrangements with charge point operators (CPO) and provide end consumers with e-mobility even when they do not own the charging stations.
With the end-user (EV driver), E-Mobility providers (EMP) enter into a contract, offer to charge tags or RFID cards, and take care of the services’ billing.

Grid Operator (DSO):

The DSOs are the local grid operators (Distribution System operators). They are the ones who “supply” power to homes, workplaces, or public streets; they develop, operate, and maintain public distribution grids.

Transmission System Operator (TSO):

TSOs and DSOs work closely together to maintain the grid balanced. The TSO is responsible for maintaining a stable grid load in each neighborhood. They work with DSO to maintain “demand” and balance power distribution. They also configure profiles to reduce supply in each location as needed.

Power generation / Utility Supplier:

Utility infrastructure powers the charging stations. These businesses produce energy often; some may even own different power plants (such as wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, etc.), yet, some may buy power from other producers.

Regulating authorities

The ecosystem’s most important stakeholders are government representatives, decision-makers, and regulatory agencies. In addition to industry measures like “subsidies” to promote the market, they also set laws controlling the obligations of each of the stakeholders above.

India’s perspective on e-mobility

Most people in India belong to either middle-class families or are part of the poverty line. But in the past few years, most people have owned a car. All the cities in India are overpopulated with vehicles. Due to this reason, air pollution is increasing irrepressible. For example, Delhi, the country’s capital city, has shown the air quality index to be toxic and increasingly deteriorates daily. As scientists claim, if this kind of effect is not managed appropriately and continues for an extended period, humans would be bound to carry their oxygen tanks for survival. It is believed that introducing electric vehicles can resolve this problem to a certain extent.

Furthermore, there is a common misperception that EV two-wheelers are more expensive than their classic ICE equivalents. While the upfront cost of an EV may be higher than that of an ICE, the evaluation is complete once we consider the total cost of ownership (TCO). It includes the purchase price, operating costs (fuel/charging fees and maintenance), and resale value modifications. Climate change, rising fuel prices, and urban transportation challenges are all threatening to alter the future of mobility. E-mobility, to a considerable extent, addresses all of these difficulties. While the first electric vehicle was launched in India in 2001, the fundamental shift from internal combustion engine (ICE) based vehicles to electric vehicles (EV) started only in the last five years. According to NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute, India’s EV market could touch US$152.2 billion by 2030.

How successful is the e-mobility project

Pollution from transportation is especially significant in cities, where many people and vehicles move within a small geographical space. As a result, air pollution has become a more prominent policy priority. E-mobility reduces NOX and soot emissions in cities. With better and more environmentally friendly public transportation, more walking and bicycling infrastructure, and improved electric car infrastructure, cities also have opportunities to rethink traffic.

For prospective consumers, electric automobiles are pretty intriguing. We may anticipate additional improvements in the field as established automakers concentrate on e-mobility. These businesses may advance EV adoption by utilising their dealership networks, business information, and R&D skills. The champions of e-mobility will be two-wheelers, while four-wheelers may still need some improvement before the TCO of EVs becomes more profitable. In conclusion, India’s future for e-mobility is quite bright despite infrastructure and demand issues.


What is a Flex-Fuel?

Flex or flexible fuel is an alternative renewable fuel with a combination of petrol and different types of concentrated ethanol or methanol. Extraction of bioethanol is from sugar or residual crops or other multiple biomass. Flex fuel vehicle is the alternative fuel adaptive vehicle. Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) have spread throughout the automotive industry during the past 20 years and offer customers a fuel choice other than traditional gasoline.

What to know about Flex Fuel


‘E10’ fuel is about 5 to 10 per cent ethanol-petrol blend. Currently, most vehicles manufactured after 2008 can support E10 without much difficulty. In 2008, The Society of Indian automobile manufacturers (SIAM) set up fuel material compatibility countermeasures for the vehicles manufactured from 2008 onwards.


Any Flex Fuel vehicles or vehicles 2001 model year and newer are approved to use E15. Motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, motorsport vehicles and vehicles older than 2001 are not authorised to use E15. The EPA has approved another blend, E15, in all light-duty cars since 2001. Manufacturers responsible for nearly 95% of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales endorse the use of E15 in their model year 2022 automobiles, according to a review of owner’s manuals by the trade group RFA.


E25 contains 25% ethanol. This blend has been widely used in Brazil since the late 1970s. In 2022, BMW and Mini go a step further by approving the use of gasoline containing up to 25% ethanol (E25) in the latest model.


E85 is a gasoline-ethanol blend containing between 51% to 85% ethanol. It depends on the season and geographic region of the distributor. E85 sold during colder months often has lower levels of ethanol to produce the vapour pressure necessary for starting the engine in cold temperatures.


E98, 98% ethanol, is a popular fuel for some types of race cars. Consistency of the energy is also paramount as most ethanol available at the retail dispensers can contain 70-90% ethanol. The stoichiometric ratio for ethanol is 9.0:1. E98 can be used as a race fuel or blended with other gasoline to make the desired ethanol concentration. This product is designed to meet ASTM standard D4806 standard specification for Denatured Fuel Ethanol for blending with gasoline.

Compatible Vehicle (Flex Fuel Vehicle)

  • Flex-fuel vehicles with modified internal combustion engines using traditional petrol with ethanol blends (E85) are usually the most compatible.
  • There is another alternative A badge with Flex-Fuel on the vehicle’s rear that may indicate it is compatible with the alternative fuel.
  • Having a yellow gas cap is a good indication that the car can use flex fuel. A sure sign would be a cape-less fuel filler with a yellow ring around the nozzle, which signals E85.
  • Using any octane level of gasoline in a flex-fuel vehicle is acceptable. The sensors in an FFV detect whether the fuel is pure gasoline or 85% ethanol. It then makes necessary changes for optimal fuel injection and timing of combustion.
  • Putting E85 in a car not designed for flexible fuel can be harmful. Always refer to the owner’s manual for specifications on fuel to use in your vehicle.
  • Technically, the first FFV was Henry Ford’s Model T in 1908, as it used an adjustable carburettor and could run on gasoline, ethanol, or both. From a modern standpoint, however, one of the first Flex Fuel vehicles that could run on E85 was the mid-to-late ‘90s Ford Taurus, following Ford’s experimental M85 methanol-powered vehicles.
  • A few examples of new vehicles with an FFV option include the 2020 Ford Transit Connect Transit Wagon LWB, 2020 Chevrolet Impala, 2020 Ford F-150, 2019 Ford Escape, 2019 Chrysler 300, 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA240 4MATIC, as well as several other Fords, Chevrolets, GMCs, Toyotas, Nissans, Rams, and Dodges.



Brazil has the world’s largest and most successful biofuel programs, involving ethanol fuel production from sugarcane. It is also considered the world’s first sustainable biofuel economy. In 2006 Brazilian ethanol provided 18% of the country’s road transport sector fuel consumption needs. Brazilian ethanol fuel production in 2011 was 21.1 billion litres (5.6 billion U.S. liquid gallons), down from 26.2 million litres (6.9 billion gallons) in 2010. A supply shortage took place for several months during 2010 and 2011. The prices climbed to the point that ethanol fuel was no longer attractive for owners of flex-fuel vehicles. The government then reduced the minimum ethanol blend in gasoline to reduce demand and keep ethanol fuel prices from rising further. Hence, ethanol fuel import dependency has been dependent on the united states.


The United States produces and consumes more ethanol fuel than any other country. Ethanol used as a fuel dates back to Henry Ford, who, in 1896, designed his first car, the “Quadricycle”, to run on pure ethanol. Most vehicles on the road today in the U.S. can run on blends of up to 10% ethanol. Motor vehicle manufacturers already produce cars that run on much higher ethanol blends. In 2007 Portland, Oregon, became the first city in the country to mandatorily sales to be at least 10% ethanol within city limits. But in recent years, many cities also projected the necessity of ethanol blends due to non-attainment of federal air quality goals.


Bioethanol consumption in Europe is the largest in Sweden, France and Spain. Germany’s bioethanol market vanished entirely after the removal of federal tax incentives in 2015. Europe produces equivalent to 90% of its consumption (2006). Germany had about 70% of its consumption, Spain 60% and Sweden 50% (2006). There are 792 E85 filling stations in Sweden, and in France, 131 E85 service stations, with 550 more under construction.


China is promoting ethanol-based fuel on a pilot basis in five cities in its central and northeastern regions. It is to create a new market for its surplus grain and reduce petroleum consumption. Under the program, Henan will promote ethanol-based fuel across the province by the end of this year. Officials say the move is of great importance in helping to stabilise grain prices, raise farmers’ income and reduce petrol-induced air pollution.


Thailand already uses a large scale of 10% ethanol (E10) in the local market and selling E20 in 2008, and by year-end, only two gas stations were functional with selling E85. Some of the cassava stock held by the government is now converted into fuel ethanol. Cassava-based ethanol production is being ramped up to help manage the agricultural outputs of both cassava and sugar cane. With its abundant biomass resources, the fuel ethanol program will be a new means of job creation in rural areas while enhancing the balance sheet of fuel imports.


Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, ‘Nitin Gadkari, has emphasised the adoption of alternative fuels, which will be import substitutes, cost-effective, pollution-free, indigenous, and discourage the use of Petrol or diesel. During an event held on 20 October 2021, The minister assured the media regarding the government’s influence on all vehicle manufacturers to make flex-fuel engines under the Euro VI emission norms in the next six-eight months.

Current Scenario

In the US, only two automakers, Ford and General Motors offer the FFVs model in the year 2022. ’11’ 2022 models will be available as FFVs, with the four GM offerings sold only to fleet purchasers. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, that’s down from more than 80 different models from eight manufacturers, available to consumers as recently as the model year 2015. In India, On Tuesday, Toyota began pilot-testing its Corolla Altis flex fuel hybrid car. The sedan, imported from Toyota Brazil, is powered by flex-fuel technology, which allows the engine to run on fuel blended with a higher percentage of ethanol, reducing gasoline consumption, along with a hybrid powertrain.


Flex fuel might be new to India, But it has been used in other countries since the 1990s. Brazil, the USA, Canada, and Sweden are some countries that have a significant flex-fuel user base. Car manufacturers that produce cars for this market could offer flex-fuel vehicles by next year to comply with proposed government regulations. Implementing Flex Fuel sooner would reduce the country’s pollution and decrease the import margin. But current investment in electric powertrains by different companies would ensure difficulty in the sooner implementation of flex fuels.

Bioethanol vs Biodiesel

When fossil fuels are used, they produce gaseous emissions that contribute to global warming. As a result, alternative green energies derived from food residues, agricultural leftovers, or industrial food residues should be considered for sustainable development. Because of the continual increase in waste, converting waste to alternative energies or biofuels is a beneficial element. Traditional waste disposal methods, such as landfilling or incineration, produce greenhouse gases. Lignocellulose sources containing carbohydrate polymers and lignin are used to produce biofuels. These components are used as feedstock in manufacturing chemical materials, biofuel, biomethane, and biohydrogen, which are alternatives to fossil fuels. Various pretreatment methods and modern technologies are available to improve the biodegradation of various bio-waste or lignocellulose biomass which helps to convert bio-waste to biofuel (bioethanol, biodiesel, and biogas). Many academics worldwide have been developing alternative energy (biofuel) production technologies to replace fossil fuels by lowering the economic cost of bio-waste pretreatment.

Bioethanol is a type of alcohol derived from grain crops. The alcohol is primarily produced through the fermentation of existing carbohydrates in starch or sugar crops. Furthermore, cellulosic biomass is being researched as a source of ethanol production. Transesterification is used to create biodiesel from vegetable oil and animal fat. Bioethanol is similar to gasoline (Petrol), but biodiesel is identical to fossil diesel. Pure biodiesel and bioethanol can be used as fuel in vehicles with adapted engines. Although biodiesel is typically used as a fossil fuel additive, bioethanol is commonly used as a gasoline additive.


The first generation, second generation, and third generation of biofuels are divided based on the feedstock used to make ethanol or biodiesel. Additionally, the term “Advanced Biofuels” is frequently used to refer to innovative biofuel production techniques that utilise waste materials as feedstock, including garbage, used cooking oil, and animal fats.


First-generation biomass, a food source, is utilised to make ethanol and biodiesel. Food crops that are biochemically classified as carbohydrates are used to ferment sugar or starch to produce ethanol. In contrast to corn, the primary source of starch, sugar comes mostly from sugarcane. Wheat, barley, and sugar beets can also make first-generation ethanol in addition to cane and maise. First-generation biodiesel is made from oils such as soybean, rapeseed (canola), sunflower, and palm.


Non-edible sources of biomass are used to create second-generation ethanol and biodiesel. Specific biofuel crops, agricultural residues, and wood chips are all sources of second-generation ethanol. These resources are biochemically classified as lignocellulosic materials. Most of the non-edible oils used to make second-generation biodiesel originate from jatropha. Other small sources include Jojoba, Karanja, moringa, castor, soapnut, and cottonseed oils.


Algae, a single-celled organism, is frequently used to make third-generation ethanol and biodiesel. Typically, algae are divided into groups according to the environments in which they live, such as freshwater, marine, or wastewater habitats. A particular alga is picked depending on its capabilities to produce ethanol or biodiesel.


The production of ethanol and biodiesel involves various biological and chemical procedures. Fermentation and transesterification are the primary processes for making ethanol and biodiesel. Thus, ethanol is produced by fermenting any biomass rich in carbohydrates (sugar, starch, or cellulose) using a method equivalent to beer brewing.
Enzymatic hydrolysis of starch to fermentable sugar occurs before fermentation in the first-generation ethanol manufacturing process. Cellulose is dissociated from the lignocellulosic structure during the production of second and third-generation ethanol utilising a variety of pretreatments.

In theory, making biodiesel is less complicated than making ethanol. The oil is initially extracted from all three types of biodiesel feedstocks. The oil is then transesterified to create biodiesel. Transesterification is a chemical reaction in which an ester reacts with an alcohol to generate another ester and another alcohol. Triglyceride oils (esters) are then blended with methanol (alcohol) to produce biodiesel (fatty acid alkyl esters) and glycerin (alcohol).



  • Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) First Generation Program: From 1st January 2003, the Government of India decided to supply ethanol mixed fuel in nine states. Four union territories for the sale of 5% ethanol blended Petrol. The EBP Program aims to achieve several goals, including reducing import dependency, conserving foreign exchange, lowering carbon emissions, and boosting the agriculture sector.
  • The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) sent a statement to the Cabinet on 25th September 2007, which was reviewed by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) during its meeting on 9th October 2007. In this meeting, the CCEA opted for 5% mandatory ethanol-to-petrol blending and 10% optional blending by October 2007, and 10% mandatory blending by October 2008.
  • Low availability and state-specific issues had slowed EBP Program success. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) previous National Policy on Biofuels – 2009 permitted ethanol production from non-food feedstock such as molasses, celluloses, and lignocelluloses. On 2nd January 2013, a Gazette Notification was released directing OMCs to sell blended ethanol gasoline with an ethanol content of up to 10% as per BIS Specification to reach 5% ethanol blending across the country.
  • As of 31st March 2019, the EBP Program was being implemented in 21 states and four union territories following the partition of Andhra Pradesh and the formation of the new state of Telangana. Also, Public Sector OMCs were buying ethanol from suppliers and selling up to 10% ethanol mixed gasoline.
  • The Government of India launched the “Pradhan Mantri DIVAN (Jaiv lndhan – Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana” on 28th February 2019 as a tool to create 2G Ethanol capacity in the country to encourage the 2G Ethanol sector and support this emerging industry by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing R&D. On 8th March 2019, the scheme was published in the Extraordinary Gazette of India.


  • The MoPNG established a Biodiesel Purchase Policy in October 2005 to promote biodiesel production in the country, which went into effect on 1st January 2006. OMCs must purchase Biodiesel (B 100) that meets the BIS fuel quality criterion for 5% blending with HSD from authorised procurement centres across the country under this regulation.
  • The Cabinet approved on 16th January 2015 to allow the direct sale of Biodiesel (B 100) to all consumers by private Biodiesel makers and their authorised dealers. Also, the Joint Ventures of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) approved by MoPNG.
  • The Motor Spirit and High-Speed Diesel (Regulation of Supply, Distribution and Prevention of Malpractices) Order, 2005 was amended on 10th August 2015, allowing the direct sale of Biodiesel (B100) to Bulk Consumers such as Railways, State Road Transport Corporations, etc. On 10th August 2015, a few retail outlets (petroleum pumps) across the nation began selling mixed biodiesel, which oil marketing companies also introduced.
  • Later, on 29th June 2017, MoP86NG issued Gazette notification No. GSR 728 (E) amending the Motor Spirit and High-Speed Diesel (Regulation of Supply, Distribution, and Prevention of Malpractices) Order, 2005, stating that the Central Government may permit the direct sale of biodiesel (B100) for blending with high-speed diesel to all consumers, subject to the conditions specified in the notification.
  • In March 2016, the ISO 15607 Biodiesel (B100) — Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (Fame) —Specification was modified with the following Scope: “This standard specifies the sample and testing requirements and techniques for biodiesel (B100) — fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) for use in compression ignition engines intended for use as a stand-alone fuel and as a blend stock for diesel fuel. The B 100 stand-alone can also be utilised for heating and industrial engines.
  • In December 2017, BIS updated ISO 1460 (Automotive Diesel Fuel Specification) as “ISO 15607 biodiesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, FAME) can be blended with automobile diesel fuel for up to 7% (v/v)”.


The average calorie consumption is rising along with the global population growth, increasing the demand for rare arable land while raising the energy needs of developing countries. Most likely, biofuel or other alternative renewable sources will be required to supply the extra gasoline. However, rising feedstock prices have restricted biodiesel and bioethanol production. Feedstock accounts for a sizable amount of the cost of producing bioethanol and biodiesel. Large-scale farming for bioethanol and biodiesel feedstock requires much arable land. In this sense, unlike bioethanol, there is no requirement for all biodiesel feedstock to be deforested to free up land for feedstock supplies.

Government support, global trade, and technological advances can continuously lower the economic cost of eventual biofuel production, making it more competitive with fossil fuels. Rising oil prices have provided financial support for biodiesel and bioethanol in recent years. The majority of bioethanol and biodiesel feedstock production is for food feedstock, which has the potential to deplete food supplies. As a result, the global debate between food and fuel demands may heat up. Biodiesel was chosen over bioethanol due to non-food feedstock outputs such as jatropha and algae. Large amounts are necessary for large-scale bioethanol and biodiesel feedstock cultivation.

Raw Materials of Bioethanol

Bioethanol is one of the most intriguing biofuels due to its favourable impact on global warming. There are various advantages in terms of sustainability when comparing advanced bioethanol production to standard bioethanol production. For example, the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions using non-food crops or residual biomass as raw materials.

The transportation sector’s usage of fossil-derived fuels is a major environmental issue, accounting for 24% of global direct CO2 emissions. Cars, trucks, and buses account for roughly 75% of all CO2 emissions in transportation. Due to the severity of this impact, which has been worse over the past few decades, biomass is essential for producing alternative biofuels, which must be made from sustainable and renewable sources.

Through extensive research and government and industry cooperation, biomass-based liquid fuels, namely bioethanol and biodiesel, have been transformed into a competitive alternative to conventional fuels (gasoline and diesel) in the modern world. These liquid biofuels are regarded as critical components for enhancing energy security. These liquid biofuels are seen as essential components for improving energy security, mitigating climate change, and promoting rural development on a worldwide scale.

Energy Crops

Crops are energy crops if a portion or all of their yield is used as a raw material to generate useful energy. These crops generally produce a large biomass per unit of land and time. The essential features for selecting energy crops are rapid growth. They have the quality of a short period from planting to harvest and the ability to grow in harsh weather and poor soil conditions. In contrast, traditional crops will have low and unreliable yields.

Energy crops are generally divided into two types: herbaceous and woody energy crops. Herbaceous energy crops mainly belong to perennial grasses, including switchgrass, miscanthus, and giant reed, as well as others. On the other hand, with relatively fast growth, short rotation woody crops included poplar and eucalyptus. Both herbaceous and woody energy crops may reduce soil erosion and increase soil carbon and soil fertility in poor soils.

Forest Biomass

Forest biomass has been used as a feedstock for bioethanol synthesis, primarily woody components such as branches, leaves, and lops. Softwood (from gymnosperms) and hardwood are the two types of wood (from angiosperms). Growth rates and densities are significant variances between softwoods and hardwoods. Hardwoods often develop slowly and are so denser than softwoods. This organisation is vital to the lowering of CO2 levels in the atmosphere and the preservation of marginal land. When compared to other raw materials, one of the key advantages of employing forest biomass as feedstock is its flexibility in harvesting time, as these commodities do not depend on seasonality. Eucalyptus nitens bark is a forestry material that is regularly collected during harvesting.

Agricultural Waste

The agricultural residue are defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) as “a crop lost during the year at all stages between the farm and the home level during processing, storage, and transport.” This includes stubble, straw, husks, seeds, and bagasse and covers field and processing residues. The amount of agricultural leftovers available for bioenergy generation in the United States alone is predicted to be 240 million dry t/year by 2030. Rice, wheat, corn, and sugarcane account for many agricultural wastes, with rice straw being the most abundant residue worldwide. It calculated the bioethanol potential of these feedstocks, indicating a possible yield of 205 billion L/year from rice.

Industrial Wastes

Industrial wastes comprise all byproduct streams from existing industrial bio-based sectors such as food, pulp and paper, textiles, and biodiesel and bioethanol-related operations. The use of this form of biomass helps to lessen the environmental impact of various industrial processes by lowering net CO2 emissions, decreasing our reliance on petroleum-based resources, and boosting the economic efficiency of the operations by adding value to what is typically dumped as waste. Brewers’ discarded grains account for approximately 85% of the entire amount of by-products created by the brewing sector among food-derived wastes.

Municipal Solid Wastes

Municipal Solid Waste is waste generated from municipal, community, commercial, institutional, and recreational activities. Garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, medical waste, and all other nonindustrial solid waste are all included. Households, offices, hotels, stores, schools, and other institutions generate MSW.
Common waste includes food waste, paper, plastic, rags, metal, and glass; demolition and construction debris; and modest amounts of hazardous garbage such as light bulbs, batteries, automobile parts, and discarded medications and chemicals. MSW is a low-cost, abundant, and mainly renewable feedstock.
The average amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) that one person generates per day in the world averages 0.74 kilogrammes but varies greatly, ranging from 0.11 to 4.54 kilos. This figure is always rising because to the exponential growth of the world population, which is directly related to the excessive consumption of energy and natural resources. The organic fraction of MSW (OFMSW) is the most significant fraction of MSW, accounting for 40-50% of total dry matter content. OFMSW is composed primarily of carbs (30-40%), lipids (10-15%), and proteins (5-15%). (dry weight).

Furthermore, OFMSWs typically contain varying percentages of inert materials such as plastic, glass, and textiles, the concentrations of which vary substantially depending on the collection mechanism used. The presence of a large volume of inert materials might cause various technical issues and reduce the effectiveness of the valorisation process. Because OFMW is a complex and varied substrate, its properties and production rates are connected to the sorting system, seasonality, population, dietary habits, and socioeconomic factors.
There are two different biowaste sorting systems (source sorted (SSOFMW) and nonsorted (NSOFMW)) that can be used as feedstock for the sequential manufacturing of bioethanol and biogas. Because of its complexity and heterogeneity, OFMW is envisioned as a rigid substrate. The most significant ethanol concentrations obtained after exposing these two substrates to nonisothermal SSF procedures were 51 and 26 g/L for SSOFMW and NSOFMW, emphasising the need for biowaste separation.

Flex Fuel Vehicles

For decades, sustainable mobility has been a pressing issue. There are now numerous alternatives to the traditional modes of transportation. There are electric vehicles, carpooling, hydrogen-powered buses, and countless other options. All these new alternative methods significantly impact the reduction in the release of harmful pollutants. However, biofuel-powered vehicles, also known as flex-fuel vehicles, provide more drastic results by replacing the use of fossil fuels. In India, Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, and Hyundai have agreed to launch cars with multiple fuel compatibility, which would be possible in the coming years.

Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) have engine flexibility with different fuel compatibility. These vehicles support many single blends or fuel combinations and can support more than one fuel type. But the standard compatibility is flex fuels. It consists of gasoline-ethanol blends up to 85% ethanol or fuel based on methanol. E85 is a combination of a gasoline-ethanol mix based on the ethanol percentage.

Flexible Fuel Vehicles consist of an internal combustion engine (ICE) that generates power with the help of heating the trapped air and thus burning any fuel present. As said, It runs majorly on the E85 blend; the blend percentage of ethanol can be 15% to 85%. The rate of combination used can depend upon geography, availability or the seasons. The consumer needs to know their vehicle’s capacity and fuel compatibility. 

FFVs are similar to conventional gasoline-only vehicles, except for an ethanol-compatible fuel system and a different powertrain calibration. While higher ethanol levels generally reduce fuel economy and many FFVs have improved acceleration performance when operating on higher ethanol blends.


Environment Friendly

Flex Fuel Vehicles support sustainably produced fuel blends. As already mentioned, ethanol (E85) is a renewable fuel which doesn’t adversely affect the planet compared to fossil fuels when burned. It releases significantly less smoke and doesn’t release toxic greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. 

Fuel Flexibility

Any combination of fuel is compatible with a flex fuel vehicle as it has sensors that understand the fuel type and adjust its combustion process accordingly. It allows the consumer flexibility to fill their fuel tanks based on availability. 

Self Reliance

The sustainability and availability of resources for extracting flex fuels ease the country’s struggle for oil imports. Hence, This encourages every nation to be self-reliant on the available resources for flex-fuel. 

Engine Efficiency

The engine performance of FFV is still arguable. But current studies have shown the results of better engine performance and the ability to burn pure and cleaner fuels such as ethanol and methanol blends. Zinc, brass, copper, lead, and aluminum are incompatible with storing pure blends as there is a risk of corrosion.

Benefits on Taxes

There would-be many tax benefits for FFVs consumers also could claim tax credits after purchase. Also, In the long run, there is an elimination of tax obligations as well.


Single-Crop Use

Flex-fuel can be produced sustainably using corn and sugar, which is mass produced but has a drawback. The inability to use crops made for flex-fuel production for other purposes could increase the cost of animal feed. In addition to being susceptible to plant pathogens, corn can be negatively impacted by weather events like floods and droughts.

Potential Engine Damage

Everyone wants to give their vehicle the best care possible. Unfortunately, ethanol is mild cleaning solvent which readily absorbs dirt, potentially eroding and harming the engine in the long run. Thus, it is to be maintained on time to time basis.

Fuel Economy

Gas mileage is one of the main issues with flex-fuel vehicles. While some experts claim that flex-fuel vehicles get similar gas mileage to conventional cars, others assert that they get worse gas mileage. While ethanol does increase a car’s octane rating, it has less energy than gasoline. So, yes, using ethanol will result in lower miles per gallon. But because ethanol is less expensive than regular gas, the savings should compensate for the reduced mileage.

Limited Number of Gas Stations

Gas stations are less likely to stock flex fuel because it isn’t as cost-effective as regular gasoline. Ethanol is currently only available at a small fraction of gas stations nationwide, but the situation will be different in the coming years. 

Facts and Figures

Comparisons of tailpipe emissions for E85 versus gasoline of flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) 

The tailpipe emissions of E85 from flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) and regular gasoline have been compared in various ways, with varying results. Based on actual measurements of five FFVs made with a portable emissions measurement system (PEMS), additional chassis dynamometer data, and projections from the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model, differences in FFV fuel use and tailpipe emission rates are quantified for E85 versus gasoline. Despite average rates being lower on E85 than gasoline, an individual FFV may have higher nitrogen oxide (NOx) or carbon monoxide (CO) emission rates due to inter-vehicle variability. Comparing the tailpipe emission rates of E85 and gasoline is sensitive to vehicle-specific power, according to PEMS data (VSP). For example, while CO emission rates are lower in all VSP modes, they are proportionally lower at higher VSP. Driving cycles with a high power demand are better for CO emissions but worse for NOx.

The vehicle’s fuel cycle and tailpipe emissions were considered in a life cycle inventory. Although E85 for FFVs emits less nitrogen oxide (NOx) from the tailpipe than gasoline, this is advantageous for the communities where the vehicles are used. The life cycle NOx emissions are higher due to higher NOx emissions during fuel production. According to dynamometer data, the average difference in tailpipe emissions between E85 and gasoline is 23% for NOx and 30% for CO, and there isn’t a noticeable difference for hydro-carbons (HC). Emissions from fuel production typically occur in rural areas, and there are no significant variations in overall hydro-carbon emissions. 

The wide range of vehicle-to-vehicle fluctuation explains why earlier studies with smaller sample sizes yield inconsistent results. E85 significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from tailpipes compared to gasoline, which may be advantageous for controlling ozone air quality in NOx-restricted areas. Comparisons of the FFV tailpipe emissions of gasoline and E85 are sensitive to driving style and power demand.

Future of Flex Fuel Vehicle

There are arguments for and against flex-fuel vehicles. However, using ethanol as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly fuel source makes way to switch toward a flex-fuel car in the future. There are many benefits to using flex fuels and flex-fuel-supported transportation vehicles. Since technology is ever-evolving, it is impossible to predict what flex-fuel cars and more cutting-edge innovations might appear over the coming years.

It might not be easy to figure out Flex Fuel vehicles. However, a few telltale signs in flex-fuel vehicles differentiate them from regular cars. Examples involve yellow gas caps or a yellow ring where the manufacturer’s fuel nozzle goes on flex-fuel vehicles. Other cars can use flex-fuel due to the labels on their fuel doors. In a nutshell, using alternative renewable fuels and sustainably powered vehicles is the future that can save time and money and also contribute to reversing the adverse effects of global warming.

Generations of Biofuel

A biofuel is a renewable energy source derived from organic materials or byproducts of their processing and conversion. These organic materials, commonly referred to as biomass, can be directly converted into liquid fuels known as “biofuels,” which can be used as a transportation fuel. Transportation fuels are classified as either fossil fuels (primarily crude oil and natural gas) or biofuels (made of renewable resources). The transportation industry is based on liquid fuels. Liquid fuels have the advantage of being simple to store. Gaseous fuels are used less frequently in transportation, and solid fuels have even fewer applications. Currently, the most common biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.

What to know about Biofuels

Types of Biofuels from Biomass

Biofuels are derived from biomass, and it is generally believed that their combustion is CO2 neutral. The amount of CO2 that was drawn from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and plant growth is roughly equal to what is released after burning. The carbon cycle is completed as a result. Most exhaust streams from combustion engines contain non-toxic substances such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water.
The potential of available feedstock sources is critical for biofuels, and the overall biofuel potential is heavily influenced by climate. Climate, Available land for cultivation, and the productivity of dedicated energy crops all significantly impact total biofuel potential. Concerns about global climate change, primarily caused by fossil fuel use, are one of the significant drivers of biofuel development worldwide.

Scientific evidence is that accelerating global warming contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Carbon dioxide is a crucial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (CO2). However, Greenhouse gases include nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and several other compounds, which are even more severe than CO2 in terms of global warming. Due to their potential for causing global warming, it has become common practice to weigh their emissions and aggregate them to CO2 equivalents.

On the other hand, greenhouse gases that are directly toxic to human health are also emitted. Particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (including hydrocarbons HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and a variety of unregulated toxic air pollutants are among the primary transport emissions from the combustion of both fossil and renewable fuels. The type of feedstock is the overall critical point of how biomass production influences climate. It determines the amount of carbon concealed in the soil and the energy yield per unit of land. It is also necessary to consider what crops these crops are replacing. GHG emissions are expected to rise if they replace natural grasslands or forests. But if energy crops are cultivated on barren or dry terrain, traditional crops cannot thrive. In that situation, they can reduce considerably lower related emissions.

Biofuel Production by Region (1990-2021)


First, second, and third-generation biofuels are classified according to the raw materials used to make ethanol or biodiesel. All biofuels have different generations based on their feedstocks. In general, “advanced biofuels” refers to cutting-edge methods of producing biofuels that utilise waste products as feedstock, spent cooking oil, and animal fats.

First-generation Biofuels

Direct fuel extraction from biomass, which is often a food source, is known as 1G biofuel. Biologically categorised as food crop supplies, sugar or starch is fermented to create ethanol fuel. The primary source of sugar is sugarcane, whereas the main source of starch is corn. In addition to cane and corn, first-generation ethanol can also be derived from wheat, barley, and sugar beet. First-generation biodiesel is made from edible oil crops like soybean, rapeseed (canola), sunflower, and palm.
These biofuels also support rural communities and agricultural sectors by increasing crop demand. They also have downsides that raise the cost of food and animal feed on a global level. Some areas are experiencing a water shortage, which may also result from the high water use required for the extraction procedures. Another problem is the farming system’s need for hectares of land to produce sufficient crops. The dependence on fossil fuels is further demonstrated by using fossil fuels for power in existing production methods. Biodiesel usually contains recycled restaurant cooking oil; thus, the supply of oil is limited by the use of restaurants.

Second-generation Biofuels

Extracting ethanol and biodiesel from non-edible biomass sources yields 2G biofuel. Grass, agricultural waste, and wood chips are all included in 2G ethanol, which is made of lignocellulosic resources. Most non-edible oils used to make 2G biodiesel come from jatropha (Bhuiya). Jojoba, Karanja, moringa, castor, soapnut, and cottonseed oils.
Wood, organic waste, food waste, and particular biomass crops are other biomass sources for the second generation of biofuels. Fast-growing trees like poplar trees require pretreatment, a sequence of chemical reactions that dissolve lignin, the “glue” that keeps plants together, to be used as fuel. Thermochemical or biochemical reactions release the sugars enclosed in the plant fibres during this pretreatment process.
The second generation of biofuels solves numerous problems from the first generation. Since they derive from different types of biomass, they do not compete with food crops for fuel. Second-generation biofuels yield significantly more energy than first-generation biofuels. They enable the use of barren land that might not be able to support the growth of food crops. Given that the technology is still in its infancy, future scientific advancements may result in cost savings and higher production efficiency. Nevertheless, given that part of the biomass for second-generation biofuels grows in climates where food crops also thrive, there is still competition for land with some of the biomass. As a result, choosing which crop to cultivate is upon farmers and decision-makers.
Biomass is also utilised from cellulosic sources like maise stover (leaves, stalk, and stem of corn) that grow alongside food crops. However, this would deplete the soil’s nutrients, requiring fertiliser to refill them. Furthermore, the biomass must be pretreated to release the trapped sugars.

Third-generation Biofuels

Algae is a single-cell organism that produces the 3G biofuel blend of ethanol and biodiesel. Algae are typically divided according to their habitats, such as non-arable land, freshwater, wastewater, salt, brackish water, or genetically altered algae. Third-generation (algal) biofuels may also avoid the issues of food competition, land use, and water scarcity as they grow at a rapid pace. However, producing biofuels from microalgae is energy-intensive and currently unprofitable.

Third-generation biofuels have a higher energy density per harvest area than first and second-generation biofuels. They are marketed as low-cost, high-energy, and completely renewable energy sources. Algae have a favourable benefit that they can grow in areas where first and second-generation crops cannot, reducing stress on water and arable land. As said before, It can be grown in sewage, wastewater, and saltwater environments like oceans or salt lakes as there is no dependency on water. However, more research is needed to advance the extraction process and make it financially competitive with petrodiesel and other petroleum-based fuels.


Biodiesel is a diesel substitute fuel in diesel engines. Biodiesel is a renewable liquid fuel that is a non-toxic, biodegradable fuel—produced from alcohol, vegetable oil, animal fat, or recycled cooking grease. It burns cleaner than its petroleum derivatives. The extraction of biodiesel uses plant oils (e.g., soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, corn oil), recycled cooking greases (e.g., yellow grease), or animal fats (beef tallow, pork lard). Cooking oils are typically extracted from plants, but animal fats are occasionally included. Recycling and regenerating used cooking oils is regarded as a long-term solution.

The development of new feedstocks for biodiesel is in its early stages. Some examples of such crops are pennycress, camelina, brown grease, and algae strains. However, there is currently a lesser percentage of biodiesel available from these feedstocks. But these feedstocks have great potential to supplement the feedstock supply. Oils and Fats are converted into chemicals known as long-chain fatty acids or mono alkyl esters, which is the organic compound name of biodiesel. During the manufacturing process, These chemicals are known to be FAME – Which means “Fatty Acid Methyl Esters”, and the process is known to be esterification.

Esterification Process

Production of 100 pounds of biodiesel and 10 pounds of glycerin needs 100 pounds of oil fats, 10 pounds of short-chain alcohol and the presence of a catalyst. Usually, methanol is used as an alcohol base. The catalyst is an activator that ensures the chemical reactions of the base components. The usual catalyst used in the process is sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide or glycerol. The sugar produced byproduct of the biodiesel process is known as glycerin.

Biodiesel meets the criteria of Renewable Fuel Standard’s biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel requirements. There is a difference between renewable diesel, also known as “green diesel,” and biodiesel. Usually, biodiesel is known as B100 or neat diesel in its pure, unblended form. Petroleum derived biodiesel is used to power compression-ignition (diesel) engines. It can be blended with petroleum diesel in any percentage, including B100 (pure form) and the most popular blend, B20 (a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel).

Blends with lower percentages perform better in cold temperatures. Regular No. 2 diesel and B5 usually perform similarly in cold weather. Some biodiesel blends and No. 2 diesel compounds crystallise at extremely low temperatures. Fuel blenders and suppliers use a cold flow improver to combat crystallisation in cold weather. Fuel providers usually inform the user regarding the proper cold weather blend.

The United States Environmental Agency has legally registered the fuel and fuel additive (EPA). The EPA registration covers all biodiesel that meets the ASTM standard specification regardless of the feedstock or process of the fuel.

Benefits of Biodiesel

Health Effects

PM and hydrocarbon emissions from diesel engines may be hazardous to human health. The Mining Safety and Health Administration discovered that switching from diesel fuel to high biodiesel blend levels (B50 to B100) significantly reduced PM emissions. However, even low concentrations of biodiesel reduce PM emissions and provide significant health and compliance benefits wherever humans are exposed to diesel exhaust.

Easy to Use

One of the most significant advantages of using biodiesel is its ease of use and efficiency. Different blends provide different qualities. However, each combination has its characteristics, handling requirements, and preventive measures. B20 or lower blends, for example, require no new equipment or modifications, and B20 can be stored in diesel fuel tanks and pumped using the same equipment as diesel fuel.


A spill of pure, unblended biodiesel causes much less environmental damage than a spill of petroleum diesel. There is a lower risk of combustion than with petroleum diesel. Petroleum diesel has a flashpoint of around 52°C, whereas biodiesel has a flashpoint of over 130°C. However, without prior knowledge or experience, the manufacturing procedure can be dangerous. Necessary precautions are mandatory for production purposes.

Air Quality

Manufacturing vehicle engine demands to meet all the specific emission standards before moving on to further process. Whether it runs on petrol, diesel or any other alternative fuel doesn’t matter. Selective catalytic reduction technology in diesel vehicles has now achieved a net-zero nitrogen oxide emission. It also lowers the total carbon life cycle emissions in the long run. A study on “carbon emissions of fuels” found that the B100 blend of biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide emission by 74% compared to petroleum diesel.

Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

When oilseed plants grow, they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and use it to create stems, roots, leaves, and seeds. After the oil from the oilseeds is extracted, it is converted into biodiesel. CO2 and other emissions are released and returned to the atmosphere when burned. Most of the CO2 emitted does not contribute to the net CO2 concentration in the atmosphere because the next oilseed crop will reuse the CO2 as it grows. Because of the use of fossil fuels and chemicals in farming and biodiesel production, a small portion of the carbon emitted is fossil-derived.

Enhances Engine Performance

Low concentrations of biodiesel improve fuel lubricity and increase the fuel’s cetane number. Diesel engines rely on engine lubrication. Moving parts in vehicles, particularly fuel pumps and injectors, wear out prematurely if the lubricant is insufficient. Diesel fuel has blend levels as low as 1%, indicating its poor natural lubricity. However, biodiesel adds lubricity to diesel, improving its quality.

Reduces Tailpipe Emissions

Biodiesel is fully compatible with the emission control catalysts and filters that drastically reduce Nitrogen oxides and PM emissions from new diesel engines (NDEs). Older technology diesel engines emit NOx way more than the sufficient limit which has been a concern. But replacing older engines with newer ones has mitigated some of these emissions concerns.

Biodiesel vs Fossil fuel

Compared with fossil fuels, biodiesel has some limitations which cause few setbacks. Such as

  • Very high cost of production compared to petrodiesel.
  • Lower calorific power compared to its alternative fuels.
  • It can become rancid due to oxidation and bacterial air, affecting long-term storage stability.
  • It usually demands more additives due to high cloud points, especially in cold countries.
  • Due release of aldehydes, ketones, and acids can result in unpleasant odours.
  • Higher percentage of biodiesel sometimes causes degradation in certain types of natural rubbers.
  • Biodiesel contributes to agricultural and rural development.
  • Biodiesel contributes to the diversification of energy sources, which is vital for countries without access to fossil fuels.

Comparison chart of biodiesel with petrodiesel and renewable diesel

Primary Sources of Biodiesel Production

  • United States – Soybeans are the most common biodiesel source.
  • Europe – Field crops like Rapeseed and Sunflower are commonly preferred.
  • Malaysia and The Philippines – Palm is considered a significant source of fuel production.
  • Nicaragua – Jatropha curcus is the essential source for production.
  • India – Focusing on Jatropha seeds. It is a tree-borne oil seed found in forest areas or wastelands. Jatropha seeds are currently under study due to their poor quality, limited regions of wastelands, and high maintenance cost for better yield. Further research is in place for better alternative oil seeds to Jatropha seeds.

Grease and animal fats are also essential resources that are more plentiful than the yielding crops. These feedstocks may also be less harmful to the environment than crops.

Recent Developments (Ethanol)

Natural gas and crude oil are the primary resources used for producing fuel and industrial chemicals. However, fossil fuel consumption has become a significant worldwide issue. Looking for new sustainable and alternative sources to help ease global environmental concerns is crucial. In recent years the critical source of biofuels has been bioethanol. With biofuels, fossil carbon can be replaced with bio-based carbon from biomass from agriculture, forestry, and municipal waste, contributing to a circular economy. Bioethanol development is a complementary strategy based on better resources with higher eco-efficiency and a lower GHG effect. It is more sustainable than the production of fossil fuels.

Ethanol derived from various bio-based sources (bioethanol) has recently received much interest due to its potential to reduce net carbon dioxide emissions while lowering the world’s growing reliance on fossil fuels. Global ethanol output has more than six-fold expanded since the turn of the century, from 18 billion litres to 110 billion litres in 2019, only to decline to 98.6 billion litres in 2020 owing to the pandemic. The primary feedstocks for ethanol production have been sugar cane and corn. Because of its non-food status and widespread availability, lignocellulosic biomass has recently been another potential feedstock.


For ethanol manufacturing, three types of feedstock are available. First-generation ethanol is generally from sugar and starch feedstocks. In contrast, ethanol produced from biomass feedstocks is second-generation ethanol. These include lignocellulosic feedstocks, starch-based feedstocks, and sugar-based feedstocks, such as sugar cane and sugar beet (agricultural residues, forest residues, dedicated energy crops, and municipal solid wastes). The ethanol production technologies utilised for each feedstock type, both commercially available, are yet in development, and current production patterns in various areas and nations worldwide.

Due to the pandemic, the global quantity of ethanol has decreased from 110 billion litres in 2019 to 98.6 billion litres in 2020. Using ethanol with 95% gasoline can lower CO2 emissions by 90% and SO2 emissions by 60-80%. It assists the world in addressing some of the world’s air pollution issues, lowering levels of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, and ensuring environmental security. Currently, ethanol is commercially generated through fermentation from a variety of feedstocks. Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast is used to ferment sugars generated from starch in maise and other grains and sugars already present in sugar cane and sugar beets.

Biofuel production growth (2019-2024)

Ethanol Production Worldwide

Corn accounts for 60% of ethanol production, sugar cane for 25%, wheat for 3%, molasses for 2%, and other grains, cassava, and sugar beets for the remainder. Over the last three years, the yearly global fuel ethanol production and specific nations’ production contributed at least 1% of the overall production output. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the top five ethanol producers were the United States, Brazil, the European Union (EU), China, and Canada. India generated significantly more ethanol than Canada in 2020, but the top four ethanol producers’ rankings remained unchanged.

The United States of America

In the United States, ethanol generated from corn reached 6.5 billion gallons (24.6 billion L) in 2007. This number more than quadrupled to around 13.2 billion gallons in 2012. (50.0 billion L). In 2018, the United States exported 6.5 billion L of ethanol, increasing its share of global ethanol exports to 61%. By 2020, there were 208 ethanol-producing facilities in the country, with an installed capacity of 17.44 billion gallons annually (66.0 billion L per year).
In contrast to the 15.8 billion gallons produced the year before, the record production in 2020 was 13.8 billion gallons (52.2 billion L) (59.8 billion L). The COVID-19 epidemic directly impacted the demand for transportation fuel, which led to a reduction in ethanol production. While some facilities were shut down due to the recession, others modified their production methods to create an ethanol product suitable for use in hand sanitisers.


Since the amount of ethanol used in the nation typically outweighs the amount produced, Canada is a net importer of the fuel. Canada made 8000 L of ethanol annually in 1980, but by 2010, that number had climbed to 1.9 billion L. Canada produced 2 billion L of ethanol in 2018 but consumed 3.33 billion L in 2019. However, ethanol production in Canada has increased in recent years, owing primarily to feedstock changes and increasing capacity at existing ethanol facilities in Canada. Canada was listed as the world’s sixth largest ethanol producer in 2020. Canada’s ethanol output accounted for 1.6% of total global production. Corn and wheat were the two most essential feedstocks in ethanol production, contributing 1534.3 million L and 360.7 million L, respectively. Winter barley was proposed as a feedstock for ethanol production. However, this grain hasn’t been applied in industrial ethanol manufacturing facilities.


Brazil remained the world’s second-largest ethanol producer. Brazil’s ethanol production, comprising anhydrous and hydrous ethanol, increased by approximately 7% in 2019 compared to 2018. Brazil has produced the most gasoline-ethanol in a decade. In Brazil, sugarcane bagasse is commonly utilised as boiler fuel to transfer energy to sugar mills. As a result, it is used to reduce energy costs and as an alternative to utilising leftover biomass.

In 2020, total ethanol production was 31.35 billion L, with 32 million L produced from lignocellulosic feedstock (bagasse). 2020 ethanol output was around 16% lower than the previous year (37.38 billion L). Sugar-ethanol plants diverted to extract juice from sugar cane toward sugar production in 2020, which reduced ethanol production. The co-products were 120.1 million MT bagasse, 1.88 million MT DDGS, and 108,000 MT corn oil. Corn ethanol output is expected to reach 8 billion L by 2028, according to the Corn Ethanol National Union (UNEM). There are now 11 corn ethanol facilities under development, including nine full-plant varieties (corn exclusively) and one flex plant.


In 2020, Europe’s total ethanol production was 4.8% of global production. Sugar beets (7.45 million MT), corn (6.35 million MT), and wheat were the principal feedstocks used in ethanol production (2.64 million MT). Belgium, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom usually use wheat. Corn was the favoured feedstock in Hungary because it was readily accessible. Most grains came from Ukraine to feed ethanol facilities near seaports in the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The feedstock for the inland ethanol facilities in Spain combined corn and barley. Sugar beets and their derivatives generate ethanol in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Austria.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced ethanol consumption in the EU by 10.1%. This figure, however, was slightly lower than the 13.0% decline in fuel use. The co-products comprised 3.33 million MT per distiller of dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and 188,000 MT of corn oil, according to the 2021 European Union Biofuels Annual Report.

Five additional lignocellulosic ethanol facilities were under construction in Finland (sawdust, 10 million L per year), Italy (biomass, 28 million L per year), Austria (wood sugars, 30 million L per year), Romania (wheat straw, 65 million L per year), and Bulgaria (corn stover, 50 million L per year). All of these plants are scheduled to be operational soon. In 2020, the EU’s ethanol production was 5.47 billion L.


From 2004 to 2016, China produced ethanol at an average of 16.8 per cent per year. China produced 6.6 million MT of ethanol in 2018, making it the world’s fourth-largest ethanol-producing country/region after the United States, Brazil, and the European Union.
China ordered all gasoline sold in the country to be blended with ethanol by 2020. The objective would exceed China’s estimated domestic production capacity, necessitating ethanol imports from nations such as the United States and Brazil. Corn is China’s primary feedstock, accounting for 64% of total ethanol output in the country.


India is the sixth-largest ethanol producer in the world. With a 99% market dominance in 2020, India remained one of the top importers of US ethanol. Due to Prime minister Narendra Modi’s “self-resilient” initiatives, India sets an ambitious goal of E-20 by 2025 while keeping its immediate goal of E-10 by 2022. India has a total installed capacity of 5 billion L of ethanol, with molasses-based distilleries accounting for 4.2 billion L or 85 per cent of total production capacity and grain-based distilleries accounting for 750 million L. (equivalent to 15 per cent).

In India, molasses or sugar juice were the only sources of ethanol in the past. Several feedstocks, including grains, manufacture the ethanol produced in India (rice, wheat, barley, maise, and sorghum). Molasses-based ethanol production in 2020 to be 2.98 billion L. Due to increased government attempts to divert more feedstock into ethanol, India’s 2021 average ethanol blending percentage in gasoline was anticipated at 7.5 per cent. The country’s 2021 ethanol production was forecast at 3.17 billion L, 7% more than 2020.

Ethanol Production Purposes (1975-2020)

However, research in biomass ethanol is still needed to enhance the science and bring the technology closer to more comprehensive commercial implementation. Creating high-value byproducts that can be made from C5 sugars and the techniques for their synthesis is one area that requires more study. Xylitol and astaxanthin, among other things, are examples of them. Lignin use is a different topic that still has much room for exploration. There is little room for research to dramatically advance the technology because corn ethanol in the United States and sugarcane ethanol in Brazil has been used commercially for many years.

Similarly to the C5 sugars, lignin can be used as a feedstock to make high-value co-products. Establishing techniques for their synthesis still necessitates considerable research. The production industry has been badly devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the entire planet. As a result, global ethanol production fell in 2020. Although other regions are also affected, they rely less on fuel ethanol markets. Hence the pandemic’s effects there have been considerably less severe.

The recovery is expected to occur after the pandemic ends and the production sectors resume their regular operations. However, production might not be as high as before the global lockdown. The demand for ethanol for hand sanitiser remains high even after the limitations are relaxed during the epidemic. Stronger emission laws and policies support the potential for biofuel production to reduce CO2 emissions in developing nations. Global ethanol production is anticipated to rise once again in the future.

EBP (Ethanol Program)

How India changed its strategy

Ethanol is a significant biofuel to act as an alternative to fossil fuels. Fermented yeast creates raw ethanol. There are other procedures for producing ethanol. The sugar industry produces ethanol as a byproduct, predominantly made from molasses. The higher the sugar cane supply, the lower the prices. This affects the sugar industry, where there is a payment delay to the farmers. The Indian government introduced the “Ethanol Blending Petrol” (EBP) Program. The aim is to reduce pollution, reduce reliance on imports, boost the agriculture sector, clear the cane price arrears of farmers, conserve foreign exchange and address the long-term environmental concerns.

Launching of EBP Program

  • The Centre launched several pilot projects in 2001. One of the projects involves combining 5% ethanol with gasoline and distributing it to a retail outlet.
  • Launch of Ethanol Blended Petrol Program (EBP) in 2003.
  • In 2005, a political party proposed mandatory ethanol, based on the Renewable Fuel Standard, to convert corn into fuel for replacing regular gasoline.
  • Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) permitted the sale of 5% ethanol blended gasoline in nine states and four UTs in 2006.
  • CCEA met in 2007 to discuss a mandatory 5% ethanol-to-petroleum blend. 
  • The Centre Reinstated a 10% mandatory blend in 2008.
  • Low availability and other issues faced by each state slowed the progress of ethanol production in 2009.
  • CCEA decided to purchase ethanol from domestic sources in 2013. Sugarcane prohibition resulted in a shift in ethanol production from molasses.
  • In 2014, the government facilitated several initiatives to boost ethanol production. Initiates are to reintroduce the price mechanism, explore an alternate production route, and have regular discussions with state governments based on the ethanol blending roadmap.
  • In 2018, the national biofuels policy stated a target of 20% ethanol blending in gasoline by 2030.
  •  Launch of the EBP Program in 21 states and four UTs On March 31, 2019. OMCs in the public sector bought and sold 10% ethanol blended gasoline.

Roadmap for ethanol blending by 2025

“World Environment Day” on June 5, 2021: Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the “Expert Committee” report on the “Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025.”

The roadmap for ethanol blending is a clear pathway for achieving 20% ethanol blending. It mentions the intermediate milestone of 10% ethanol blending by November 2022. The report includes an annual plan for the country’s gradual transition to E20 ethanol. It proposes specific responsibilities for Union Ministries, State Governments, and vehicle manufacturers for the production, supply, and gradual implementation of 20% ethanol blending in gasoline by 2025.

As per the reports, there is a budget of 30,000 crores for foreign exchange per year. The information includes the immense benefits of 20% ethanol blending, such as energy security, lower carbon emissions, better air quality, utilisation of damaged food grains, employment opportunity, increment in farmer’s income etc.
Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional secretary of NITI Aayog, is leading the inter-ministerial committee. It involves the representatives of the Ministries of Petroleum, Food and Public Distribution, Road Transport and Highways, Heavy Industry, Indian Oil Corporation, and the Automotive Research Association of India served on the committee.

Milestone mentioned in E-20 Roadmap :

  • To increase the capacity of ethanol production in India from 700 to 1500 crore litres.
  • Roll out of E10 compatible vehicles by April 2023.
  • Manufacture of E20 engines powered vehicles begins by April 2025.
  • To encourage the production of water-saving crops like maise.
  • To improve the technology of extracting ethanol from non-food feedstocks.
  • Tax incentives for the blended ethanol fuel producers.
  • Nationwide education campaign of ethanol.
  • To use a single-window mechanism to speed up governmental regulatory clearances for ethanol distilleries.
  • The EBP procurement procedure for ethanol is simplified.
  • Availability of denatured ethanol (called denat alcohol) all over the country.

Initiatives by the government

  • The Central Government has increased blending targets under the Ethanol Blending Programme(EBP) from 5% to 10%. 
  • The EBP procurement procedure for ethanol, simplified to streamline the entire ethanol supply chain. and the remunerative ex-depot price of ethanol has been fixed. 
  • A “grid” that connects distilleries to OMC depots and details quantities to be supplied has been developed to help meet new blending targets. 
  • A state-by-state demand profile has been projected, taking into account distances, capacities, and other sectoral demands. 
  • Sugar mills have waived excise duty on ethanol supplies to OMCs for EBP during 2015-16. (up to 10 August 2016). The results have been promising, with supplies doubling each year.

Yearly-based ethanol supply from 2013-2018 

  • 2013-14  Supply of thirty-eight crore litres of ethanol for blending.
  • 2014-15 Under the modified EBP, supplies increased to 67 crore litres. 
  • 2015-16 The ethanol supply was historically high in the ethanol season, reaching 111 crore litres with 4.2 per cent blending. 
  • 2016-17 Approximately 66.51 cr litre of the 80 cr litre contracted for the ethanol season was supplied. 
  • 2017-18 During the ethanol season, an LOI was issued for the supply of 139.51 cr litres of ethanol, of which 136 cr litres have been signed and 46.25 cr litres have been supplied so far.

In addition, OMCs have opened a second round of bidding for the procurement of 117 million litres of ethanol under the EBP. The Indian Sugar Mill Association

estimated 2.4 billion litres of supply in 2019 based on 1.8 billion litres of C-Heavy molasses, 425-430 million litres of B-Heavy molasses, 165-170 million litres of damaged food grains, and 20 million litres of sugarcane juice.

The regulatory status of ethanol as fuel 

The regulatory status and implementation details are as follows: 

  • E5 [blending 5% Ethanol with 95% gasoline] was notified in 2015 by MoRT&H6. 
  • E10 [blending 10% Ethanol with 90% gasoline] was notified in 2019 by MoRT&H7. The rubber and plastic components used in gasoline vehicles are currently compatible with E10 fuel. 
  • E85 The use  of E-85 fuel (85% ethanol by volume) was notified in 2016 for 4-wheeled vehicles, three-wheelers and two-wheelers. 
  • E100 [pure ethanol] for use in gasoline vehicles.
  • ED95 [95% ethanol and 5% additives (co-solvent, corrosion inhibitors and ignition.

Production of “Ethanol Blended Petrol” compatible vehicles

Two-wheeler and passenger vehicles produced recently are optimized for E5, with rubber and plastic components compatible with E10 fuel; their engines can be calibrated for E10 for improved performance.
As the EBP is implemented in the country, vehicles are manufactured with rubberized parts, plastic components, and elastomers that are compatible with E20, and the engines are optimally designed for E20 fuel.
SIAM has assured the government that E10 and E20 will be made available in the nation upon the release of MoPNG’s timeline. According to the roadmap, they will prepare to supply compatible vehicles.
E20 material-compliant vehicles could be available by April 2022, and E20 engine-compatible vehicles could be available by April 2023.
These vehicles can withstand 10% to 20% ethanol blended gasoline and perform well with E10 fuel.
Vehicles powered by E20 engines will be available across the country beginning in April 2025.
These high-performance vehicles will only run on E20.

Correlating higher ethanol blends with compliant vehicles

Vehicles must be designed holistically to take material compatibility, engine tuning (spark timing), and optimisation into account. It will gain benefit from higher octane ethanol blends.
High compression ratio engines are prone to suffer catastrophic failure due to engine knocking when operated with low or no ethanol content. Vehicles designed for low or no ethanol content in gasoline will have more down fuel economy when used with higher ethanol blends.

Progress in Ethanol Blended Program (Dec 2014-Jan 2021) 

2014-2015Government reintroduced an administered price mechanism for ethanol to be procured under the EBP Program.

Opened alternate route for ethanol production (2nd generation including petrochemical)

Government has since directed Oil Public Sector Enterprises to set up bio refineries.

Eased tender conditions – Multiple EOI being floated, transportation slabs and rates.
2016-2017IDR Act Amendment on 14th May, 2016 to clarify on the roles of Central and State

Government for uninterrupted supply of ethanol to be blended with petrol under the EBP Programme.

Regular interaction with States and all other stakeholders to address issues pertaining to the EBP Programme. This is a continuous exercise.
2018-2019Notified forward looking and updated National Policy on Biofuels -2018 involving all stakeholders.

Interest Subvention Scheme for enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity in the country.

Allowed conversion of B heavy molasses, sugarcane juice and damaged food grains to ethanol.

Fixed differentiated ex-mill ethanol price and procurement priority based on raw materials utilized for ethanol production.

Marked beginning of an era of differentiated ethanol pricing, based on raw material utilized for ethanol production. 

Opened a fresh window for inviting applications under interest subvention scheme for ethanol projects based on cane and molasses.

Extension of EBP Program to the whole of India except Island UT’s of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands.

New sources of sugar & sugar syrup are introduced for ethanol production and fixed remunerative prices.
2020-2021OMC’s have enhanced their ethanol storage capacity from 5.39 crore litres in November, 2017 to 17.8 crore litres in December 2020. With the current capacity, about 430 crores litres of ethanol can be handled annually considering 15 days of coverage period.

One time registration of ethanol suppliers for long term, including giving them visibility of ethanol demand for 5 years.

OMC’s started to provide Off-take guarantee letters and consent to sign tripartite agreements with ethanol suppliers and bankers to support the ethanol capacity expansion projects.

Opened a fresh window for inviting applications under interest subvention scheme for ethanol projects based on cane and molasses.

Further ease of tender conditions by OMC’s like one time document submission, quarterly bank guarantees, multiple transportation rate slabs and transportation rates being linked to retail selling price (RSP) of diesel, reduction in security deposit and applicable penalty on non- supplied quantity.

Approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) to utilize surplus stock of rice lying with Food Corporation of India (FCI) to be released to the distillers for ethanol production. Approval of NBCC10 to utilize maize for ethanol production.

Interest subvention scheme enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity extended to grain based distilleries & distilleries producing ethanol from other feedstocks like sorghum, sugar, beets etc. apart from molasses-based distilleries.
Progress Chart on EBP Program

Inference and Implication

Currently, fossil fuels account for approximately 98 per cent of the fuel requirement in the road transportation sector, with biofuels accounting for the remaining 2 per cent. Eighty-five per cent of India’s oil is imported. Despite temporary setbacks caused by the COVID pandemic, the Indian economy is expected to grow steadily.

This would increase vehicular population, increasing the demand for transportation fuels. Domestic biofuels offer the country a strategic opportunity to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels. Furthermore, biofuels can be environmentally friendly, long-term energy sources when used correctly.

They can also help with job creation, the promotion of Make in India, Swachh Bharat, doubling farmer incomes, and converting waste to wealth.