Karnataka aims to produce more ethanol, reduce petrol, diesel need
Karnataka, which ranks third among sugarcane-growing states in the country, is coming up with a new ethanol policy that will provide for bigger profits for sugarcane growers.
Published: 22nd August 2022 04:57 AM | Last Updated: 22nd August 2022 12:48 PM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: If all goes well, Karnataka will be the first state in the country to reduce its dependence on petrol and diesel with the state government aiming to increase production of ethanol, which is allowed to be blended at 20 per cent with motor fuels. This will also likely bring down prices of petrol and diesel.
Karnataka, which ranks third among sugarcane-growing states in the country, is coming up with a new ethanol policy that will provide for bigger profits for sugarcane growers. Ethanol can also be used to make disinfectants, sanitisers, medical spirit and bio-compressed natural gas.
Karnataka Udyog Mitra Managing Director Doddabasavaraju, who is in charge of facilitating these industries, said there is an increased demand for ethanol after the Union government stressed on blending 20 per cent of ethanol with petrol and diesel. But none of the states have been able to produce even 10 per cent of ethanol required, he added.
“The state government, to promote its production, is providing all facilities, including subsidies. Those interested in setting up ethanol plants can also get loans easily from banks,” he said.
Research on running vehicles on ethanol
“Oil supply companies, including Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum, have come forward to blend ethanol with their products. If we start using ethanol, the country’s dependence on crude oil will come down,” he said. Also, research is on running vehicles purely on ethanol, which could be the future.
“When that becomes a reality, the demand for ethanol will further increase. We are gearing up to increase production and it will happen over the years,” he added. According to the data available with TNIE, in the last one year, the state government has okayed proposals to produce 5,185-kilo litres per day of ethanol from sugarcane at 18 production units.
Three of these projects will be set up at an investment of Rs 5,850.18 crore. Of the 18 companies, five have been granted approval to produce ethanol, not only from sugarcane but also from rice, corn and wheat bran.
“Now, ethanol is produced only when sugar factories run for four to five months a year. If ethanol can be extracted from grains with some additional machinery, these units can run and generate employment the entire year. It will also serve our purpose of increasing the production of ethanol,” Basavaraju said.