NATIONAL BIOFUEL POLICY
With the aim of reducing oil Import dependence Union cabinet approved a National policy on Biofuels in May 2018. The Union Cabinet was chaired by the Prime Minister. This policy on Biofuels will help farmers in disposing off their surplus stock and gain some extra income.
Government ambitious program on Biofuels which is focused to convert these wastes into wealth and that too in a cleaner environment.
Until now the ethanol which was to be mixed with petrol has to be produced from sugarcane only but the “National Biofuel Policy” will allow the production of “ethanol” from other food grains too like rotten potatoes, sugar beet & corn which can be mixed with petrol and save thousands of crores per year from oil imports.
Biomass resources from which biofuel will be produced includes biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal wastes too in the National Biofuel Policy.
Biofuels is produced from biomass resources like sugarcane, corn, rotten foodgrains or potatoes. Biofuels are used as an alternative fuel or in addition to petrol or diesel for transport, stationary or other applications.
Strategy for biomass production in National Biofuel Policy
- Those trees wich has non-edible oilseeds will be taken up on Government/community wasteland, degraded or fallow land in forest and no forest areas but NOT on agricultural lands. Contract farming on private wasteland with Minimum Support Price mechanism proposed in the Policy.
- Trees bearing Nonedible Oilseeds will be promoted amongst cultivators to exploit its potential and quality seedling will be distributed among them.
- For oilseeds a Minimum Support Price (MSP) will be announced & implemented with periodic revision so that farmers and cultivators gets fair price.
- When planting non edible oilseeds in the area goes beyond one village to another village then the consultations from local communitites like Gram Sabha, Gram Panchayats will be undertaken which will further respect the PESA in the fifth schedule.
- Using National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP),Employment will be provided for plantations of trees & shrub which has non edible oilseeds which will act as biomass for biofuel in the National Policy for
Why government introduced this Policy
Health benefits: Reused cooking oil can be diverted in the use of production of biodiesel which is a good feedstock for making biodiesel.
Employment generation: Can create jobs in bio refinery setup & through National RuralEmployment Guarantee Programme (NREGP), for planting non edible seeds bearing Trees.
Additional income to farmers: Wastes of Agriculture which farmers used to burn can be utilized and farmers will get some fair price.
Reduce imports cost: Production of biofuels will further save thousands of crores per year in oil imports. One crore litres of E10 [petrol with 9-10% ethanol blended in it] saves 28 crore of forex at current rates,” the government said.
Cleaner environment: “Ethanol” blended petrol cuts the carbon emission by a huge margin and also the farm residue will not be burned and utilized as a biomass. thus adding potential clean environment benefit and reducing green House gases.
Municipal solid waste management: Large amount of municipal waste generated can be then converted in clean energy by appropriate technology.
What is E10 & 2G biofuels?
E10: Compatible with the majority of petrol-powered cars on the road today, E10 is petrol blended with 10 percent ethanol. It is reliable and safe fuel.
2G biofuels: Fuels that can be manufactured from various types of non-food biomass are known as advanced biofuels or popularly Second-generation (2G) biofuels. Wastes of Plants and animals forms the biomass in Second generation (2G) biofuels.
Technology other than 1st generation are used to extract useful energy from these biomass of 2G biofuels. Dedicated non-food energy crops grown on marginal land, unsuitable for crop production, woody crops, agricultural residues or waste are Second Generation (2G) feedstock.
With the ambitious targets of Waste to Wealth Creation, Employment Generation, doubling Farmers Income, Import Reduction, this policy on Biofules will augur well with the ongoing government schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill Development & Make in India.
“National biofuel policy” brought by government to utilize the resources going as wastes and with integration of other programmes of government this can be a huge plus for India in future. A small step taken in right direction will always yield good results in the time to come.