Friday, 3 March 2017

Not a straightforward Answer !



Economic Times ( 28 Feb 2017 ) carries following report :



“ Govt to Formulate Policies on Ethanol, Methanol soon , says Gadkari “


The Centre will soon come out with policies on the SECOND-GENERATION ethanol as well as methanol, non-conventional fuel resources, which will bring down the crude import bill by Rs 1 lakh crore, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.

After chairing an inter-ministerial meeting attended by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, among others, Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said this will also create an industry worth Rs 1 lakh crore and provide employment to around 25 lakh youths, he said.


Gadkari said it was decided to take SECOND GENERATION ethanol production on mission mode as India accounted for a huge Rs 6 lakh crore imports bill on crude per annum and exploring and generating indigenous alternative would cut crude imports by at least Rs 1 lakh crore.


He said at present ethanol is derived from molasses which is barely 119 crore litres as against a minimum requirement of about 500 crore litres.


"We get hardly three per cent ethanol whereas we can mix 22 per cent in petrol. There is shortage of 19 per cent...We can make SECOND GENERATION ethanol from bamboo, cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw, bagass etc... This will generate employment for 25 lakh rural youth....The industry will be of Rs 1 lakh crore size," the Minister said.

He said the biofuel was not only cost-effective but a pollution free import substitute.

The Minister said that in countries like the US and Brazil, there are flex engines of cars where 22 per cent ethanol could be easily blended in petrol.

Promotion to green fuel like ethanol will not only arrest migration of people from villages to town but using bio technology production of biomass could be enhanced and more people could be roped in for employment, he said.

Gadkari also said in view of surplus coal production it has been decided to promote methanol output and Petroleum Ministry will also bring a policy for production of methanol from coal.


While it is true that a few countries have been experimenting with blending of bio-fuels with petrol , experts have raised serious concerns re its impact on a country’s eco-system

I reproduce below , a few such concerns listed in book “ CLEAN DISRUPTION “ by Tony Seba { pg 201-210 }: { https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxryv2XrnqM }


·         It takes 13,676 gallons of water to produce a single gallon of biodiesel from soybeans

·         It takes 1700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol . Assuming a 30 gallon gasoline tank in a SUV , we calculate 51,000 gallons of water for the corn ethanol fill up ( Prof David Pimentel of Cornell University )

·         Each time someone fills up an SUV with corn Ethanol, he or she uses as much water as the average American residential user consumes in 16 months !

·         IBM’s “ Carbon Disclosure Project “ provides following data to generate 1 MWh of energy :

#  Solar PV and wind use negligible amount of water : 0.1 litre or less than half a cup

#  Biofuels use an astonishing 1.78 million times more water than Solar to generate the same amount of energy !

·         All the water for drinking , agricultural irrigation , power plants and factories that 2.5 billion people in CHINA and INDIA need per YEAR , is roughly equal to the water biofuels require to produce two days’ worth of energy in USA !

·         According to WaterFootprint, 19,924 gallons of water are needed to produce ONE gallon of biodiesel from jatropha

·         Sugarcane , one of the biofuel industry’s “ success stories “ , converts just 0.38 percent of sunlight into biomass . In the end, the solar-to-ethanol conversion ratio for sugarcane is just 0.13 percent , according to “ Scientific American “

·         The average Solar Panel is 123 TIMES more efficient in converting sunshine into usable energy

·         Concentrating photovoltaic { CPV } can turn about 40percent of the sunshine into electricity, which makes it THREE HUNDRED TIMES more efficient than sugarcane ethanol biofuel

·         SOLAR IS ANYWHERE FROM 123 TO 550 TIMES MORE EFFICIENT THAN BIOFUELS

·         SOLAR CHP ( COMBINED HEAT AND POWER ) CAN CONVERT SUNSHINE 550 TIMES MORE EFFICIENTLY THAN SUGARCANE CAN


Dear Shri Gadkariji :


Research by reputed scientific organizations all over the World , project a Water Stress situation of unprecedented proportions in India , within the next 10 years




Last year’s “ Water Wars “ of Latur ( Maharashtra ) will get replicated in many parts of our country , in next 20 weeks !  And every year thereafter !




Production of biofuel on the massive scale envisaged in the new policy , will only further push down the already deep water tables and accelerate the droughts / famines


IN LIGHT OF THE ARGUMENTS LISTED ABOVE , I REQUEST A RE-CONSIDERATION OF THE PROPOSED POLICY



04  March  2017



www.hemenparekh.in / blogs 

1 comment:

  1. Water has to be focus and not ethanol for masses in India.

    Solar power and Fuel Cell technology must be deployed to cut down on petroleum imports.

    ReplyDelete