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Decision On Making Ethanol Capable Flex Fuel Engines Soon: Gadkari

With fuel costs crossing Rs 100 in some parts of the country, Nitin Gadkari says by using ethanol, Indians will save Rs 30-35 per litre

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma


With petrol and diesel prices rising across the country and crossing Rs 100 mark in many cities, Union Road Transport minister Nitin Gadkari addressing a virtual Rotoary District Conference said “We have surplus sugar, we are diverting sugar to ethanol, I am transport minister, I am going to issue an order to the industry, that only petrol engines will not be there, there will be flex-fuel engines, where there will be choice for the people that they can use 100 per cent fuel or 100 per ethanol, I am going to take a decision very soon within 8-10 days and we will make it (flex-fuel engine) mandatory for the automobile industry,"  

Gadkari mentioned in his address that ethanol was already being used in United States, Canada and Brazil, stressing on the choice available to the user who can choose to use 100 per cent fossil fuel or 100 per cent Bio ethanol. “They(consumers) only need to take a small filter available from Bosch and in place of metal washer they have to use rubber washer” he further added.  

Last year, the government had set a target of reaching 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent doping by 2030. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the target date for achieving 20 per cent ethanol-blending with petrol has been advanced by five years to 2025 to cut pollution and reduce import dependence.

“The Ethanol rate is Rs. 60 Per liter and Petrol rate is Rs 100 per liter, Ethanol is a better fuel than petrol, it is cost effective, pollution free and an import substitute, with this cost difference our people will save 30-35 Rs per liter” said Gadkari. “By the Flex Engine, We can make all scooters, motorcycles and cars engines flexible, By which we can serve the farmers.” He added.  

After the fuel price hike on Sunday, the Petrol price in the national capital crossed Rs 97 a litre and diesel neared Rs 88, meanwhile in India’s financial capital Mumbai, a liter of petrol was priced upwards of Rs 103 and Diesel costed upwards of Rs 95 for a liter. Since May 4th, the country has seen fuel prices being hikes 27 times and the fuel prices rising by by Rs 6.82 per litre  for petrol and Rs 7.24 a litre for Diesel.

“This is going to boost the Indian economy because we have rice, corn, wheat and sugar in surplus, we don’t have place to story these surplus food grain. Our MSP is higher than the market price, the government has always taken care of the farmers and that is why we have decided that we can make ethanol from the food grain, and therefore ethanol can be made from sugar cane juices and molasses and third-generation ethanol can be extracted from biomass like bamboo and there we can resolve the problem of surplus.”  

Ethanol is usually extracted from sugarcane as well as damaged food grains such as wheat and broken rice and agriculture waste is less polluting and its use also provides farmers with an alternate source of income. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in a statement issued on 24th March 21 said “Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) has informed that the ethanol yield from one tonne of maize and rice is 380 and 450 litres respectively. Thus to produce 100 litres of ethanol, about 2.22 quintals of rice or about 2.63 quintals of maize is required to be used. “

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