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European Union to cap first generation biofuels

The deal to cap the amount of first generation biofuels upto 7% in the transportation fuel mix in European Union has come a step closer as the 52 members of the Environment Committee of the EU parliament has voted in its favour while there were only 12 members voted against it.

Now the full house during the 27-30 April plenary session will vote on the text of the agreement in Strasbourg. This will make the road clear for member states enacting the legislation by 2017. It is expected that the new legislation will boost the use of other feedstocks such as garbage and sea weed for producing biofuels.

It is noted that the current legislation requires 10% of the transportation fuel in EU member states to come from renewable resources by 2020.

The feedstocks of the first generation of biofuels require to be grown on agriculture land and thereby forces deforestation. This ultimately increases the greenhouse gas emissions and  reduces the benefits of the biofuels.

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Karnataka to get $50 million dollars for biofuel

In India the Karnataka States’ Biofuel Development Programme  is set to get a boost in the form of  $50 million dollars from International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). The loan can be utilized in various activities such as plantation of biofuel crops and production. Biofuel Development Board of Karnataka has been active in promoting biofuels and  has established biofuel information and demonstration centres with about 100 l per day capacity in each district. These centres are being scaled up to 150-200 l capacity. The Board also owns a 500 litre biodiesel production plant at Hatti Gold Mines. The loan conditions include 1% interest with a 50-year repayment period.

China’s first commercial flight powered with biofuel was successfully completed

China's first commercial flight powered with biofuel was successfully completed between Shanghai and Beijing. The privately owned Hainan Airlines flight used biofuel made up from used cooking oil collected from the restaurants. The biofuel was supplied by China National Aviation fuel company and energy giant Sinopec. It was a Boeing 737 plane which used 50% biofuel blended in conventional jet fuel and carried more than 100 passengers to their destination.

India achieved only 1.4% ethanol blending this fiscal year

Problems between sugar mill owners and oil marketing companies have resulted in only 1.4% ethanol blending through february this fiscal year which is way less than the blending target of 5% and lesser than the last year's achieved blending level of 2%.The National Policy on Biofuels of India identifies the sugar cane molasses as the feedstock suitable under Indian conditions for ethanol production for blending purpose and that makes the sugarcane mills as the biggest suppliers of bioethanol. The high state-level levies on the biofuel and the requirement of obtaining permits from authorities have been sited as the major impediments for producing bioethanol by Sugar Mills. The government has set the selling price of ethanol for sugar mills @  Rs. 48.50/litre  if the depo of the oil marketing company is within 100 km from distillery and  @49.50/ litre  if the depo is beyond 300 km. The producers claim that the long distance transportation also reduces their margin. India needs approximately 115 crore litres of ethanol to meet the 5% target. Read more at http://www.financialexpress.com/article/markets/commodities/less-than-a-third-of-ethanol-blending-target-may-be-met/55503/