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Old 23rd November 2012, 16:07   #1
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Default Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

Just read an article in todays newspaper. Apparently going forward a 5% ethanol blending will be made mandatory. No idea if any fuel gets blended today in India.

Just wondering, in the rest of the wold ethanol blending up to 10% in some countries has been a fact of life in some countries. For reasonable modern cars no big thing as such. But many older cars, say anthing from 20-30 years and more Ethanol could lead to al sort of problems. There seem to be plenty of 'older' cars on the road in India. Any concerns, any problems anticipated?

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Old 23rd November 2012, 16:30   #2
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

5% Ethanol blending is mandatory from December. Quoting from ET:

Quote:
The committee, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has also approved market-based pricing of the biofuel, opening the market for ethanol producers - mostly sugar companies. So far, the OMCs have been contracting ethanol at the provisional procurement price of Rs 27 per litre, fixed by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in August 2010.

The petroleum ministry is now likely to come up with a gazette notification and float tenders for price discovery and procurement of ethanol.

The CCEA has also allowed import of ethanol if OMCs face any shortage of the biofuel in the domestic market for blending purpose. "There is no shortage of ethanol in the country as it had produced 220 crore litres of ethanol in 2010-11. However, if need be, the OMCs may be allowed to imported for blending purpose," said a minister, who had attended the meeting.

The ethanol-blended petrol is in effect in 13 states out of 19 states mandated for EBP programme. In these 13 states also, the implementation was partial with lifting of only 44 crore litres of ethanol. The department of chemicals, which is a major user of ethanol, had been opposing the EBP programme arguing that it would hurt the chemicals industry by diverting its share of ethanol to the OMCs.

The EBP programme will require 105 crore litres of ethanol annually and will help OMCs to save cost by way of difference in the prices of ethanol and petrol. "While a litre of petrol costs around 70, ethanol costs 40 a litre.
Link to full article:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/17327326.cms
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Old 23rd November 2012, 16:43   #3
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

Will petrol become cheaper now? As far as I know, ethanol is cheaper than petrol. So the E5 should be cheaper than regular petrol.

Also, it will promote the sugarcane industry, since sugar is the main source of ethanol.

Can all Honda owners now rejoice?
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Old 23rd November 2012, 19:06   #4
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

I seriously doubt they'd make petrol any cheaper. The profit they make by mixing ethanol will probably partially fund the subsidies being provided for diesel, kerosene, etc - cross-subsidization.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 19:10   #5
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
Will petrol become cheaper now? As far as I know, ethanol is cheaper than petrol. So the E5 should be cheaper than regular petrol.

Also, it will promote the sugarcane industry, since sugar is the main source of ethanol.

Can all Honda owners now rejoice?
Honda owners can rejoice. But promoting sugarcane would be depleting our water resources
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Old 23rd November 2012, 19:18   #6
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

Are all cars being sold currently, or sometime back are Ethanol ready? I notice that only Honda cars carry that indicator somewhere on the windscreen.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 21:40   #7
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Are all cars being sold currently, or sometime back are Ethanol ready? I notice that only Honda cars carry that indicator somewhere on the windscreen.
My point; as far as I know all modern cars can handle up to 10% ethanol no problem.

According to German research about 90% of petrol car engines in Wester Europe will run fine on petrol with a 10% ethanol blend. In Germany petrol station are obliged by law to supply non blended petrol as well for older cars.

Ethanol blended fuel can cause corrosion to aluminum parts, such as fuel system, fuel pump, injectors, inlet valves. High pressure and high temperature enhances this effect even further. In addition it could affect certain plastics/synthetic materials found in membranes, hoses etc.

Has been and still is a big discussion in Europe amongst mostly classic car owners. Most manufacturers and car clubs will be able to provide comprehensive information and advise on whether certain models/engine can run on ethanol. Additives are available to counter the negative effects, although much debate about their effectiveness.

Interestingly enough I have seen very little on ethanol blending and associated problems in the USA whilst living there. Not all, but a fair amount of states have ethanol blended petrol only.

It will also slightly reduce your fuel efficiency. Approx 1.5-2% less

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Old 24th November 2012, 00:47   #8
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Honda owners can rejoice. But promoting sugarcane would be depleting our water resources
Dont mix water in your coolant. Use pure coolant.
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Old 24th November 2012, 01:08   #9
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

How does this help? It corrodes engine parts and reduces FE so why use it?
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Old 24th November 2012, 03:46   #10
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

This is both good and bad news. Brazil has been doing this since 80s and now it's around 20-25%. Cars are manufactured with flex fuels in mind. Even the US has this.

The upsides is less forex use, the environmental benefits are debatable since this will require water intensive sugarcane and diverting land use as an alternative has a negative impact on food production and prices.

There is also a lot of lobbying from corn and sugarcane producers. The whole ethanol 'utopia' crashlanded 2 years ago when the negative impact on food production was realised and a lot of high profile green ventures from folks like Khosla ventures tanked.

The other problem is adulteration, something we are familiar with. Ethanol apparently has to be blended at point of distribution as there is too much water absorbtion during transportation by pipeline. So the refinery will not be doing the blend.

You can imagine the kind of chaos and sheer scale of profit and adulteration this opens up in a country with poor oversight and implementation abilities especially when large sums of money is involved.

The victim will be the average consumers engine. Low mileage and if adulteration is not checked slow damage to critical engine components.

Last edited by raul : 24th November 2012 at 03:48.
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Old 24th November 2012, 04:28   #11
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

This is just plain wrong, to force everyone to risk engine damage via adulterated ethanol in their engines that can corrode everything around it. And exactly this is what is going to happen. Instead they can make sure that pumps sell both Petrol E5 as well as normal Petrol and offer users a choice. This should give manufacturers enough time to insulate their cars from Ethanol damage and make India ready for Petrol E25.
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Old 24th November 2012, 09:13   #12
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

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Originally Posted by Bluu View Post
How does this help? It corrodes engine parts and reduces FE so why use it?
The "official" line seems to be as follows:

In Europe it's mostly environmental as ethanol burns cleaner and produces less CO2. I'm not quite sure I fully understand the less CO2 though. As ethanol is less FE, you need more of the stuff to produce the same output.

In India it seems to be more orientated towards the fact that ethanol is a renewable source, which is available in India in great abundance. And therefor eases the import of petrol.

Here's an interesting wikipedia page with lots of info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel



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Old 24th November 2012, 09:47   #13
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

We were discussing this topic elsewhere and these came up.

http://www.yorkshire-mag.co.uk/ethanol.html




Any truth or just hogwash? TBHPians please comment.
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Old 24th November 2012, 09:51   #14
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

Quote:
Originally Posted by subratasenn View Post
Dont mix water in your coolant. Use pure coolant.
Won't work, I think. Water is the coolant. The remaining is stuff to prevent water from freezing, evaporating, corroding, whatever.
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Old 24th November 2012, 11:36   #15
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Default re: Ethanol blending to be made mandatory

India's sugarcane production is notoriously unstable - alternates between surplus & deficit. The sugar industry needs to be decontrolled (because Govt control on a commodity always results in such imbalances) first. Else, oil companies will have a tough time procuring ethanol.
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