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G20 Summit: Global Biofuels Alliance Announced – What Is Biofuel & Its Benefits Explained


At the ongoing G20 Summit in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Global Biofuels Alliance. The alliance between 9 initiating countries and 12 organizations aim to produce cleaner and greener energy for decarbonization of the environment. “The launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance marks a watershed moment in our quest towards sustainability and clean energy. I thank the member nations who have joined this Alliance,” Tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The Alliance was launched on the sidelines of the G20 Summit by Modi along with a host of global leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bangadesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Besides India, the initiating members included Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, South Africa, the UAE and the US, while Canada and Singapore are observer countries. 

What is Biofuel?

A biofuel is an ethanol based fuel derived from various plant based sources and when blended with petrol, can be used as a power source to obtain relatively lesser carbon dioxide emission. Ethanol is a form of Bio Fuel, a term which is enjoying a great buzz around automotive OEMs and governing agencies. A pre-defined quantity of petrol and methanol/ethanol is mixed to form a Bio Fuel.

There are various compositions used across the globe, namely E85, E80, E10, E20 and more. For reference, the E85 Flex Fuel comprises 15 per cent petrol by volume and 85 per cent biologically-obtained ethanol. In India, governing agencies earlier notified that a policy on the use of E80 biofuel will be introduced. In this composition, 80 per cent ethanol by volume will be used while blended with 20 per cent petrol by volume.

Sources of Biofuel

The ethanol used for the composition of Bio Fuel is generally obtained from various plants, vegetables, and biological sources. For example, Jatropha oil is one of the most researched sources of biofuel in our country. Alongside, rice, corn, and other oils can also be used to obtain the ethanol of desired calorific value.

Benefits of Biofuel

Using Bio Fuel as a fuel source brings down the content of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and other hazardous products obtained from the combustion of fuel. For example, the E20 blend brings down carbon monoxide emissions by close to 50 per cent in two-wheelers and around 30 per cent reduction in four-wheelers in comparison to E0.

Also, the blend further brings down the cost of fuel as a whole, as ethanol is cheaper to produce as compared to petrol. Furthermore, the BTE (Brake Thermal Efficiency) is also increased with the use of biofuel. However, the biofuel application also increases the brake-specific fuel consumption.


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