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.
- Renewable; biodegradable
- Less toxic
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- greater fuel security
- Boost to farmers