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Old 30th May 2014, 09:51   #1
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Default E85 fuel for India?

There are previous threads discussing ethanol blends in India (5% or 10%) which can be used in existing cars, but this is different. Apparently Nitin Gadkari wants to introduce E85 fuel in India (ie, roughly 85% ethanol, though it varies). This cannot be used on existing engines. Quote:
Quote:
"The nation spends Rs 6 lakh crore on imports of petrol, diesel and gas. Huge crude and gas bill is the reason behind rupee depreciation.

"I have asked the department to study whether the five big companies -- Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Fiat-- can import E85 engine here, like they do in Brazil and Canada," he said addressing his maiden press conference as the Infrastructure Minister...

He said the ministers concerned will soon hold a meeting with farmers in Petroleum Minister's presence for exploring the possibilities of reviving sick sugar factories so that ethanol is available in abundance.
What are your thoughts on this? Is he just throwing out an idea at random, or is it perhaps a serious plan? The experience in the west (US in particular) is that ethanol is a little cheaper than petrol but much less fuel-efficient, so running costs are actually more. On the other hand, it is less polluting. And since petrol is more expensive in India, it may make economic sense here. It is in theory renewable, but to produce ethanol on the scales where it can replace petrol requires intensive farming, which may be hurtful both to the environment and to food crops.

Brazil has of course used ethanol for years, and Fiat is a major player there -- so the fact that he mentions Fiat among the "big 5" suggests he has done some homework
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Old 30th May 2014, 10:03   #2
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
There are previous threads discussing ethanol blends in India (5% or 10%) which can be used in existing cars, but this is different. Apparently Nitin Gadkari wants to introduce E85 fuel in India (ie, roughly 85% ethanol, though it varies). This cannot be used on existing engines. Quote:
What are your thoughts on this? Is he just throwing out an idea at random, or is it perhaps a serious plan? The experience in the west (US in particular) is that ethanol is a little cheaper than petrol but much less fuel-efficient, so running costs are actually more. On the other hand, it is less polluting. And since petrol is more expensive in India, it may make economic sense here. It is in theory renewable, but to produce ethanol on the scales where it can replace petrol requires intensive farming, which may be hurtful both to the environment and to food crops.

Brazil has of course used ethanol for years, and Fiat is a major player there -- so the fact that he mentions Fiat among the "big 5" suggests he has done some homework
Very very surprised NOT see 2 names in the list! Maruti & Hyundai. These two players beat the rest of the (Indian) market hollow and how will other "5 big" players contribute to this initiative?! Is he trying to solve the wrong problem?

Edit:: Or is this trying to break the duopoly or mark a beginning to it? Do Suzuki & Hyundai have E85 fuel compatible engines anywhere?

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 30th May 2014 at 10:08. Reason: Adding "Edit" portion
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Old 30th May 2014, 10:05   #3
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

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Very very surprised NOT see 2 names in the list! Maruti & Hyundai. These two players beat the rest of the market hollow and how will other "5 big" players contribute to this initiative?! Is he shooting in the dark?
They don't have E85 expertise? He is obviously looking at the "big players" in Canada and, especially, Brazil. (Also, Fiat in particular supplies engines to Maruti already, they could supply this one too if need be.)
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Old 30th May 2014, 10:13   #4
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
They don't have E85 expertise?...
Not sure; some knowledgeable person can provide details.

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
...He is obviously looking at the "big players" in Canada and, especially, Brazil...
Why?! He should be bothered about the players in India! I really do NOT understand how BIG players in other markets help this cause in India. What is the fuel consumption by these players in Indian market compared to those consumed by Maruti & Hyundai vehicles, on a yearly basis?! 20% max?

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
...(Also, Fiat in particular supplies engines to Maruti already, they could supply this one too if need be.)
Well, from a feasibility point of view, you are correct. Does it make sense for Maruti to do it, from a business point of view? Or to put it simple, is he (FM) trying to help the "big 5" players in anyway in the Indian market?!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 30th May 2014 at 10:14.
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Old 30th May 2014, 11:08   #5
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

WOW :
I think this is something that should've been done long time back.
India can be self sufficient in ethanol production, but has to import tons of crude oil to make petrol and diesel.

I am sure refiners will definitely object to such a move though!

Oh and just read the post about the CNG below.
No it will not really solve much problems. India doesn't have very great natural gas reserved too. Besides, that natural gas can be put into better use in industrial settings (for power generation, petro chemicals etc).
Also the point is that quite a lot of gas demand would be met by importing LNG. Which again involved outflow of huge forex.

Last edited by alpha1 : 30th May 2014 at 11:23.
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Old 30th May 2014, 11:18   #6
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

While almost all new MSIL cars can use E15, I don't think we have any car which is flex fuel and can take E85 straight from pump. Frankly a better approach is to improve CNG infrastructure as we already have cars in production and the fuel is much less polluting and of course costs less.
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Old 30th May 2014, 11:44   #7
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

From the discussions above it looks like most cars will need a different engine to support this. Will it make the car costlier? If running costs and show room prices are higher , we may not have much takers.
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Old 30th May 2014, 11:50   #8
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

Aren't the Cars sold in India can only do 10% Ethanol mix? If the government mandates E85, who's going to pay for the repair costs of fixing up the spoilt engines? Considering this is India, as it is we don't get quality fuels, imagine the shenanigans that would come with E85.

I recall in one of my earlier vehicles, the Owner's Handbook Specifically mentioned that blended fuels with Max 10% Ethanol can be used. Anything beyond that would render the engine waranty invalid.

Absolutely ridiculous! I don't want this dirty fuel in my car! (E85 pollutes more & degrades the engines)
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Old 30th May 2014, 12:10   #9
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

Since the topic is Ethanol mix, it is important for the members to read this and few links as well:

Note: This is based on my limited understanding of the issue, based on what I have been reading online for the last 2-3 years. If you are a chemicals-automotive expert with precise knowledge of the topic, you requested to make corrections if applicable.

(Some notes from the internet) What are possible problems of Ethanol blend?

1) The presence of Ethanol can cause deterioration of several fuel system components including hoses, squeeze bulbs, plastic fuel tanks, fuel pump and head gaskets. Such deterioration in turn can result in plugged fuel filters and pumps. This can occur in older engines. Failed components will have to be replaced with Ethanol compatible components.

2) Fuel filters can get plugged by debris caused by Ethanol cleaning dirty fuel systems.

3) Carburetors and fuel injectors can be clogged by a gel like substance created when a gasoline blend in a storage tank is not completely cleaned out prior to being filled with a gasoline/ethanol blend.

4) A major problem is Phase Separation created when water gets into the fuel causing the water/ethanol mixture to sink to the bottom of the tank where the fuel pick-up is. Engines cannot run on an alcohol/water blend and will seize. Two cycle engines particularly have this problem since the proper lubricant will not be present in the gasoline. While a properly formulated additive may prevent the separation by removing excess water, it will not cure the problem once it exists. The best defense is to keep the tank as full as possible. Moisture condenses in the empty space in the tank, so reducing the amount of air in the tank reduces the amount of water that can enter.

5) Ethanol can etch aluminum, magnesium and die-case zinc causing fuel injectors to plug and/or damage pistons and fuel pumps.


http :// auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/ethanol-facts1.htm

The problem with using ethanol as fuel in a large-scale way comes down to two primary, related issues:
There's not nearly as much energy in ethanol as there is in gasoline.
Creating significant amounts of energy from food crops would deplete the amount of land available for growing actual food for people to eat.
While most experts agree on these two points, they tend to differ in terms of degree.


http :// environment.about.com/od/ethanolfaq/f/ethanol_problem.htm

“Replacing only five percent of the nation’s diesel consumption with biodiesel would require diverting approximately 60 percent of today’s soy crops to biodiesel production,” says Matthew Brown, an energy consultant and former energy program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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Old 30th May 2014, 12:34   #10
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

I agree to the comments about the energy efficiency of ethanol and the diversion of huge tracks of land for producing fuel for cars instead of for humans (food).

However, for the dirtying effects of the new fuel, do read the original post again. E85 is not meant to work with the current cars and engines we have in India. The article talks about importing E85 specific engines from Brazil and Canada, where it is already being used in large scale (I presume). All the concerns expressed must have been addressed in some way before introducing it there.
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Old 30th May 2014, 17:20   #11
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

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Originally Posted by yosbert View Post
However, for the dirtying effects of the new fuel, do read the original post again. E85 is not meant to work with the current cars and engines we have in India. The article talks about importing E85 specific engines from Brazil and Canada, where it is already being used in large scale (I presume). All the concerns expressed must have been addressed in some way before introducing it there.
E85 will be marginally cheaper than regular Gasoline. And considering this is India, what's to stop unscrupulous petrol pump owners from mixing E85 with Regular petrol?

If we want to save money on fuel import bills, then the first act would be to get rid of the smoke belching, subsidised fuel guzzling commercial trucks off the road. Expanding the road network so that they're not always clogged, addition of capacity for rail cargo etc would go a long way in that.
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Old 30th May 2014, 17:36   #12
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

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Originally Posted by Desi Dybuk View Post
If we want to save money on fuel import bills, then the first act would be to get rid of the smoke belching, subsidised fuel guzzling commercial trucks off the road. Expanding the road network so that they're not always clogged, addition of capacity for rail cargo etc would go a long way in that.
Replace them with what?

I for one support this if it brings down the countries Petrol Bill substantially.
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Old 30th May 2014, 17:41   #13
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Replace them with what?
Revoke the road permit of commercial vehicles over 15 years. Fleet companies would have to buy new trucks if they want to be in business. This proposal has been infront of the government for the past so many years but not implemented for political reasons.

Rigorous enforcement of pollution standards for Trucks & Buses. No reason to allow these smoke belching vehicles to clog our lungs.
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Old 30th May 2014, 17:52   #14
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Default Re: E85 fuel for India?

Meaningless move from Govt on Ethanol. This is not a long term solution. Just trying to do so me early eyecatching announcements.

Our first objective should be to upgrade all refineries to Euro-5, will cost 60K crores at present prices.

Then we need to make use of LPG/CNG much more widely; we have this in abundance.

More Sops to be offered to smaller & more fuel efficient cars to encourage the best engines & technology comes here.

Invest aggressively in public transport, the push of the previous Govt to have Metro rail in each city with 1 crore or more population should be carried forward.

We need 'developed' cities where we WONT need to use cars for commuting to office daily, but as a recreational vehicle for weekends & outings.
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Old 30th May 2014, 18:18   #15
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More Sops to be offered to smaller & more fuel efficient cars to encourage the best engines & technology comes here.

Invest aggressively in public transport, the push of the previous Govt to have Metro rail in each city with 1 crore or more population should be carried forward.
These, AND penalise cars in the city -- eg, congestion charges like London; realistic parking fees that reflect the value of real estate; pedestrian-only zones; limited-traffic zones like Italy, where you cannot take a car unless you're a resident. And maybe exempt electric vehicles and senior citizens/special-needs people from some or all of the above.

Otherwise too many people here aren't even willing to walk 2 minutes from a parked car to the shop they need to visit -- their drivers need to drop them right at the doorstep. No matter how shiny and fast the public transport is, they will still want to take the car.
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