Document Type : Review Paper


Mechanical Engineering Department, Dibrugarh University Institute of Engineering and Technology (DUIET), India.


India has experienced rapid industrialization, propelling it to be the world's 3rd largest energy consumer. Among the sectors driving this energy consumption, the transportation industry plays a significant role. In the fiscal year 2022-23, India witnessed a surge in petroleum consumption, reaching a record high of 222.3 million tonnes. However, the country's crude oil production remained at 29.2 million tonnes during the same period, leading to a substantial reliance on imports. In fact, India imported crude oil of 232.4 million tonnes in 2022-23, amounting to a cost of approximately USD 158.3 billion. To curtail its dependence on imports, the Indian government has promoted ethanol as a renewable fuel alternative for several years. Although policies supporting the Ethanol Blended Program have been in place since 2003, they struggled to meet their targets until the introduction of the National Biofuel Policy in 2018. The policy incorporated several modifications and aimed to address the shortcomings of previous efforts. Presently, ethanol blending with petrol is being offered at a maximum concentration of 10% across the country, with the ultimate goal of completely replacing petrol with ethanol. This study analyzes India's ethanol blending program, evaluating policy impacts on distribution and production. It identifies challenges in feedstock availability, the role of oil marketing companies (OMCs), and vehicular technology hindrances. Proposed solutions include utilizing alternative feedstocks, supported by PLI schemes. OMCs should address logistical issues and reduce transportation costs by promoting local ethanol production. Optimizing petrol engines and expediting the introduction of flex engines are recommended.


Main Subjects

[1] International Energy Agency (2021). India. Energy Outlook 2021.
[2] Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. (2021). Energy Statistics 2021.
[3] Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (2020). Petroleum Statistics.
[4] Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (2021). Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.
[5] Government of India (2020). Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
[6] United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service. (2022). Biofuels Annual.
[7] Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (2020). Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.
[8] Press Information Bureau (2021). India emerges as the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar and world’s 2nd largest exporter of sugar.
[9] Press Information Bureau, Government of India. (2021). India's Sugar Production 2021-22.
[10] Ministry of Petroleum & Natural (2022). Ethanol Growth Story.
[11] Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (India). (2018). National Policy on Biofuel.
[12] Sivaramakrishnan, S. and Varma, N. (2018).
Challenges and opportunities for promoting biofuels in India. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 81, 3146-3156.
[13] Murali Krishna, S. M. V. S., Srinivasa Rao, V., and Hemachandra Reddy, K. (2020). Challenges of promoting ethanol as a transport fuel in India. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 135, 110125.
[14] Shukla, N. P., Kaur, N., and Gupta, J. (2021). Assessment of ethanol blending in India: progress, challenges and prospects. Energy Policy, 149, 112002.