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BIS Releases Biofuel Production, Distribution and Usage Standards

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Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has developed as many as nine standards on biofuels, and is in the process of developing a standard on paraffinic (green) diesel. Addressing various aspects of biofuel production, distribution, and usage.

BIS is India’s national standards body operating underneath the aegis of the Indian government’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Nutrition, and Public Distribution.

BIS released standards on Biofuels that are produced from biomass. It is renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. The biomass is used to produce biofuel through a conventional process.

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The biofuel is used to blend with fossil fuels to reduce emissions in Bharat. By 2030, India has a target to blend 20 percent ethanol biofuels into its fossil fuels that are used in transportation. It will save the state’s exchequer from importing crude oils and the saving is quite substantial. 

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These new standards for Biofuel will help the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) with global efforts toward achieving clean energy goals. It is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of GBA in the recently concluded G20 meeting in Delhi. 

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The Biofuel stakeholders – manufacturers, traders, and others, will benefit immensely from the release of 9 standards by BIS on biofuels.  The BIS has also said it has been working on green diesel standards. Green diesel derives from second-generation feedstock, such as rice and wheat straw, cane trash, corn cobs and stover, cotton stalk, bagasse, and Empty Fruit bunches.

Currently, fossil fuels dominate India’s transportation fuel to the extent of 98%, and the rest is biofuel. It is taking a heavy toll on the exchequer, which India wants to soften.

The nine standards released by the BIS address various aspects of biofuel production, distribution, and usage. They include:

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  • Quality parameters for different types of biofuels
  • Biofuel Production processes and best practices
  • Transportation and storage guidelines
  • Compatibility with existing fuel infrastructure
  • Environmental and safety guidelines

These standards signify a significant move for India as they:

Promote Consistency: A set of standards ensures that all biofuel products within the country adhere to a uniform quality. Thereby making it easier for consumers to trust and adopt them.

Boost Investment: With clear standards in place, investors will feel more confident in directing funds to India’s biofuel industry, leading to enhanced infrastructure and increased production.

Enhance Global Trade Opportunities: Having a standardized biofuel can facilitate trade, as global partners will have clarity on the quality and specifications of the product they are importing.

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The release of these standards marks a clear trajectory towards a greener future for India and the world, as they help in the following

Reduced Carbon Emissions: Biofuels are less carbon-intensive than their fossil fuel counterparts. As India transitions more into biofuels, the country’s overall carbon emissions could see a significant reduction.

Energy Security: By diversifying its energy portfolio and focusing on domestically produced biofuels, India can reduce its reliance on oil imports. Thus, leading to increased energy security.

Economic Opportunities: The biofuel industry holds potential for job creation in areas ranging from research and development to agriculture and production.

The standards released by the BIS will certainly propel India to bring down emissions to “0” by 2070. It will also contribute to achieving several other objectives such as Make in India, Waste to Wealth, and a significant increase in farmers’ income, says Pramod Kumar Tiwary, Director General, BIS.

The USA, Brazil, and India are the major producers and consumers of biofuels. These three countries collectively contribute to 85 percent of the production and 81 percent of the global ethanol consumption.

The global ethanol market reached a value of USD 99 billion USD in 2022. It is projected to grow at 5 percent till 2032.

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