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Burning gas to hold gas: Govt’s ethanol programme to face transport challenges

India’s ethanol manufacturing for mixing with petrol has soared from 38 crore litres in 2013-14 to an estimated 450 crore litres within the present 2021-22 provide yr (December-November). And with provides for attaining 20 per cent mixing by 2025-26 projected at 1,016 crore litres by NITI Aayog, a brand new logistics problem is rising — shifting this different gas from distilleries to mixing depots and retail factors.

“At the moment, your complete amount of ethanol is being transported by highway on truck-tankers. Carrying 1,016 crore litres would require about 3.5 lakh tankers at a mean 29 kilolitres capability. Not solely is that this expensive, however will quantity to burning gas to maneuver gas and lead to greenhouse fuel emissions of round 76 million tonnes,” mentioned Akhilesh Goyal, managing director of the Madhya Pradesh-based Maarewa Sugars Pvt. Ltd.

In line with Goyal, the federal government ought to take into account different choices for ethanol motion, together with by means of devoted pipelines, rail tank wagons and ferries/steamers in coastal areas. “They’ll additionally have a look at the RORO (roll-on/roll-off) mannequin of shifting ethanol truck-tankers themselves by rail,” he mentioned at a latest convention on sugar and ethanol organised by the Indian Sugar Mills Affiliation and the Brazilian agri-consultancy agency DATAGRO.

Plinio Nastari, president of DATAGRO, mentioned that Brazil (which produces 3,500 crore litres of ethanol yearly) has 14 oil refineries and 354 ethanol distilleries that offer to 170 gas depots everywhere in the nation. The motion of gas and ethanol to the depots is solely by means of pipelines, rail or coastal ships. Transport by truck-tankers occurs solely within the final leg, from the depots to 41,700 shops.

ExplainedCosts and emissions

Ethanol manufacturing has obtained a lift due to the federal government’s enticing pricing coverage. However logistics of motion and distribution of huge portions presents a problem not solely when it comes to value, but in addition emissions. It may outcome, primarily, in burning gas to hold gas.

Nastari felt that there was no want for devoted pipelines to move ethanol. “Within the final 40 years, we now have been utilizing multi-product pipelines for motion of diesel, gasoline (petrol) and ethanol,” he mentioned. Nastari, nonetheless, advocated some precautions on account of ethanol being a solvent that dissolves the gums shaped in gasoline and collected in tanks. “Having filters within the gas hose pipes can make sure that this gum (which comes from gasoline and never ethanol) won’t trigger issues to the automobiles,” he added.

India’s ethanol output of 38 crore litres may allow only one.53 per cent mixing with petrol in 2013-14. The present provide yr’s manufacturing of 450 crore litres — 370 crore from sugarcane-based distilleries and 80 crore litres from these utilizing grain feedstock — will assist obtain 10 per cent mixing.

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