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Bioethanol: A reliable aviation fuel

  • IASbaba
  • October 17, 2021
  • 0
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Bioethanol: A reliable aviation fuel

Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Economy; Environment 

Context According to the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Bioethanol can be a sustainable fuel for the aviation sector.

  • It can provide 80% savings on greenhouse gas emissions and be blended up to 50% with conventional jet fuels without any modification. 
  • It has already been tested and approved by the Indian Air Force. 
  • With the roll out of flex-fuel vehicles that run 100% on bioethanol, the demand for ethanol will jump four to five times.

What is Bioethanol?

  • The principal fuel used as a petrol substitute for road transport vehicles is bioethanol. 
  • Bioethanol fuel is mainly produced by the sugar fermentation process, although it can also be manufactured by the chemical process of reacting ethylene with steam.
  • Ethanol or ethyl alcohol (C2H5OH) is a clear colourless liquid. Ethanol burns to produce carbon dioxide and water.
  • Energy Crops required to produce ethanol: 
    • corn, maize and wheat crops, waste straw, willow and poplar trees, sawdust, reed canary grass, cord grasses, jerusalem artichoke, myscanthus and sorghum plants.
  • Benefits: 
    • Renewable; biodegradable
    • Less toxic
    • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
    • greater fuel security
    • Boost to farmers

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