The fuel price in India has been rising for a very long time. This has risen concerns among individuals concerning the use of petrol for vehicles in the country. In major places, the price has seen a rise over INR 100 mark and this urges the need for alternative fuel. Let’s look at what is flex fuels and whether the automotive industry will see a shift in the usage of fuel.
What is a Flex Fuel Engine?
A Flex Fuel engine is an internal combustion engine. This engine has the feature to run on more than one fuel or even a mixture of fuels. Generally, a mixture of Petrol with Ethanol or Methanol is used in these types of engines.
The engine can adjust the mixture in any quantity that is provided which is mainly due to the suitable ECU programming and fuel composition sensor.
Flex Fuels in India
The Government of India has announced on 21 June 2021, that it will decide on flex fuels in 8-10 days. The Union Minister has conveyed that Government is planning to make a flex-fuel engine compulsory for the automobile industry in the country. This move is expected to help the farmers as well as boost the economy of the country.
The main reason stated by the Union Minister is the increase in the price of fuel in India. He conveyed that flex-fuel can be an alternative used by the citizens in order to reduce their expenses on fuel to around INR 30 to INR 35 as one litre petrol in India has crossed the mark of INR 100 per litre whereas Ethanol’s cost would be somewhere around INR 60 to INR 62 per litre.
He also added that being the transport minister he is going to issue an order to the automobile industry to transform their engines into flex-fuel where the consumers will have a choice to choose whether they require 100 % petrol as fuel or 100 % Ethanol as fuel.
Benefits of using Ethanol or Methanol
Ethanol has a lower energy content and is considered to be better than petrol for the environment as the emissions produced by the vehicle will be relatively less. Also, the Carbon dioxide that is released from the vehicles is said to be absorbed by the plants in the environment that is used for growing the materials required to produce the fuel.
The main advantage of this fuel is sustainability and another advantage for India regarding Ethanol or Methanol as fuel is that the raw materials are available in abundance. India is a country that has surplus sugar cane, surplus corn, and surplus wheat and the country is facing problems in finding storage places for these.
The Major Reason to adapt Flex fuel
One of the major reasons to adapt to this fuel is due to the rise in the import of crude oil into the country. The crude oil import bill currently is between 7 lakh crores to 8 lakh crores in the country. Air pollution and the increase in import of crude oil are the two major concerns faced by the country and adapting to green fuel is a must in India.
However, petrol currently is already being mixed with Ethanol with around 10 – 15 % and compared to the current level production the idea is not very standard to achieve. In order to also increase the blend in the Ethanol production, there are certain modifications required in the engine. Hence, the automotive industry will have to make necessary changes and get behind the initiative.
Ethanol is considered to be a better fuel than petrol and is an important substitute, pollution free, indigenous and cost effective. The procurement of Ethanol has seen a rise from 28 crore litres to 320 crore litres.
What Is Flex Fuel?
Flex Fuel is a fuel mixture made of gasoline and between 51-83 percent ethanol.
What Is a Flex Fuel Vehicle?
A Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV) is a vehicle that has been specifically designed to drive using Flex fuel.
Can You Use Flex Fuel In a Regular Gas Vehicle?
You should not use Flex fuel if the vehicle is not been designed to run on Flex fuel.