Government allows surplus rice to be used to meet 10% ethanol blend

May 17, 2020 |

In India, Autocar Professional reports that the government permitted surplus rice to be used for the production of ethanol for biofuel usage as India struggles to reach its mandated blend of 10% ethanol in gasoline by 2022. The 2030 target is to double the blending percentage to 20 percent.

“Government estimates indicate that total production of rice in FY2020 would be a record 117.47 million tons, much more than the five-year average production of 107.80 million tons,” according to Autocar. “The National Biofuel Policy 2018 has allowed use of surplus grain such as rice, wheat, bajra, maize, jowar for ethanol production. However, the run for rice in ethanol may not exactly be smooth as there are a few issues which need to be ironed out to make ethanol production more viable.”

According to Atul Mulay, president, Bio-Energy Business of Pune-based Praj Industries, the installed capacity in India to produce potable alcohol from grain is around 200 crore litres per annum. “However, operationally it is around 130 crore litres per annum. Due to fluctuations in raw material prices, some plants are financially sick and unable to operate.  For an interim duration until normalcy returns, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution would need to fix the rate of surplus grain in order to make grain to ethanol products more viable.”

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