Thursday, October 27, 2005

From the mailbox: request for an artcile on use of Ethanol

oct 27th

there was a lot of talk about bio-diesel a while ago, and i also happened to see a diesel locomotive sometime which had a sign that proudly proclaimed that it was using bio-diesel.

i agree with the sender that there is room for several alternate energy initiatives. brazil has done quite well with ethanol-equipped cars and 'gas' stations.

in india the problem may be that the petroleum/energy minister is more interested in helping pakistan (via the iran pipeline) and china (via a regional grid) than india itself. after all, he is a marxist (who according to his own brother raised funds for the *chinese* in 1962) married to a mohammedan. and he spent some years in pakistan.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Oct 25, 2005 10:41 PM
Subject: request for an artcile on use of Ethanol
To: Rajeev.

Hi Rajeev,
I am regulaer reader of your articles in and am very much moved by your unbiased, logical and clear thinking.
I am using this opportunity to bring one more issue to yourforfront.
This is about broader use of ethanol (costing only Rs 20 per litre) to be mixed up to 24% in petrol. It will bring down cost of petrol by over 15%,  reduce the oil import bill for petrol substanitially , benefit local farmer and industry and more importantly save enviornment. The world over (i.e. Brazil) tests are already done to use ethanol up to 24% they why in India it is not used in such a large scale? Prima facie it seems that our Oil companies  and the govt are not very much intersted beacuse of some vested interest.  Earlier BJP govt tried to push ethanol mixing in phased manner but that is too stalled.
This ethanol mixing upto 24% is like getting ready made 24% more oil resources (currently india's domestic production of oil is able to meet only 35% of oil demand) for which our ONGC and other companies are fighting worldwide
Think over it and please try to come out with great article after your research.

1 comment:

Ravi Krishna said...

There was a very interesting program on Ethanol vs Oil in CBC radio (I live in Toronto). The example of Brazil was given. Both pro and anti Ethanol experts were called.
Since you have already mentioned pro Ethanol points, lemme mention anti ethanol points:-

1. In Brazil the state subsidises Ethanal *hugely*. It is said that when oil crosses $40 per barrel, Ethanol becomes cheaper than Oil. Well that is because of subsidy in Brazil. Without it, it will be only at $100 per barrel when Ethanol becomes cheaper than Oil.

2. To produce Ethanol oil a huge amount of landmass is required. For e.g, to satisfy just the auto needs of America, entire US has to grow corn. When I say entire, it actually means entire land mass, not just the agriculture area.

In that program, at the end, the anti Ethanol guy just asked this question "why do you think Ethanol based technology never took off anywhere except Brazil".

BTW Oil in USA/Canada do contain Ethanol, varying from 3% to 10%. In fact most of the states/provinces are mandating gradual increase of Ethanol in Oil.

At best Ethanol can reduce the demand for oil, it can never replace it.