Assam Engineers' Forum Bats For Pragmatic Flex-Fuel Policy

February 13, 2022

Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has been advocating for flex-fuel (i.e. ethanol mixed fuel mostly with petrol/gasoline) in all vehicles. The minister had recently requested the car manufacturers of the country to introduce flex-fuel engines on a large scale. He argued that the ethanol mixed patrol will be cheaper and it would reduce air pollution drastically.

The All Assam Engineers' Association (AAEA) appreciates this latest initiative.

The association, through a press communique, has thanked the Union and the Assam government for the initiative encouraging the use of green fuel in every automobile.

It has also urged the concerned authorities to launch a public awareness campaign about the alternative fuel for the benefit of automobile users across India.

India today spends around rupees eight lakh crore annually for importing crude oil, gas and other petroleum products and the Central government decided to reduce the amount with the use of ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, compressed natural gas, green hydrogen, electric arrangements.

The optimum use of ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol) in petrol-powered engines would financially benefit the farmers as the inflammable organic and colourless compound is prepared from agricultural products like grain, sugarcane, hemp, molasses, potato, etc. Presently India has a maximum of 9 per cent ethanol-blended petrol in use.

Ethanol (symbol C2H5OH) burns more cleanly than petrol which usually leaves a significant volume of toxic carbon-monoxide (CO is generated due to incomplete combustion of fuel) in the air. Moreover, the low-level blend like 10% ethanol and 90% petrol can be used in conventional petrol engines. However, the increasing percentage of ethanol content (above 20) would need certain engine modifications.

“Assam government should formulate a pragmatic flex-fuel policy so that the local farmers can get higher benefits out of the initiative. We urge State chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take the lead with necessary inputs from agriculture scientists, qualified engineers and other stakeholders,” said a statement issued by AAEA president Er Kailash Sarma, working president Er Nava J. Thakuria and secretary Er Inamul Hye.

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