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Ethanol Blending – Auto Industry’s Perspectives. P.K. Banerjee Deputy General Manager, Tata Motors Ltd., Pune. National Seminar on “Biofuels – Need of the hour” October 13, 2008, New Delhi. Contents. Background Actions taken by MoPNG on EBP

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Ethanol Blending – Auto Industry’s Perspectives

P.K. Banerjee

Deputy General Manager, Tata Motors Ltd., Pune

National Seminar on “Biofuels – Need of the hour”

October 13, 2008, New Delhi

Contents l.jpg


  • Background

  • Actions taken by MoPNG on EBP

  • Positive and Negative impacts of E10 on Environment, Health

  • 10% Ethanol Impact on Vehicle Performance

  • Vehicle Modifications Due to Ethanol Blending - General Trends

  • SIAM – Government Consortium Project

  • Concerns / Issues to be Resolved

    • Commercial Aspects

    • Blending related issues

    • Taxation issues

    • Labelling Issues

  • SIAM’s Demand for E10 Program in India

Background l.jpg

World over, many countries are having regulations to blend 10% ethanol in Gasoline.

India is also developing ethanol blending programs (EBP) to reduce dependence on imported oil & to provide support to sugarcane farmers.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) notified compulsory 5% blending of ethanol in gasoline in 9 States and 4UTs from January 2003. As program did not take off, MoPNG amended notification twice, in 2004 and 2006 to bring change in ground reality.

The Government already announced 10% ethanol blending of gasoline (E10) from October 2008 throughout the country. However no notification is released because of which OMC’s have not started 10% ethanol blending.

As per latest News, Sugarcane industries are not producing enough Fuel ethanol because of pricing issues. Ethanol is not available even for 5% blending through out the country.

Meanwhile, Vehicle manufacturers and Oil companies are assessing the technical feasibility of Vehicles complying with 10% ethanol blend.

“ As per SIAM, Intention of Government for blending 10% ethanol in Gasoline is a welcome step, However, SIAM feel that a-prior resolution of some of major issues will ensure success of E10 Program in India”


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Actions Taken by MoPNG on EBP


Mandatory 5% Ethanol blending in gasoline in 9 States & 4 UTs w.e.f. January 1, 2003.


Mandatory 5% Ethanol blending in 10 States & 3 UTs subject to commercial viability & ethanol availability


5% Ethanol blending made mandatory throughout country (except NE, J&K, A&N) subject to commercial viability w.e.f 01.11.2006


CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs)

decided to implement on October 9, 2007:

Voluntary 10% ethanol blending – from Oct ’07

Mandatory 10% ethanol blending – from Oct ‘08


Union Cabinet Approved National Bio Fuel Policy on Sep 200820 % by 2017 for the blending of biofuels – bio-ethanol and bio-diesel

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MoPNG Notification (Sep ’06)

G.S.R.580(E).– 1) In exercise of the powers… ………. the Central Government hereby directs that subject to commercial viability, the oil marketing companies shall sell five per cent ethanol-blended-petrol, as per Bureau of Indian Standards specifications, in the following States and Union Territories, namely:--

3. The Central Government may, suo motu, or on a reference made to it,after due consideration of facts, by an order, modify the areas, and the percentage of ethanol in the ethanol-blended-petrol that may be supplied, and specify the period for the same.

20 States

4 UTs

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E10 Ethanol Fuel Specificationsreleased by BIS

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In India, IS 2796-2000 provides specifications for Gasoline fuel blended with max. 5% (vol) Ethanol.

BIS committee under Mr. RK Malhotra worked on drafting specifications for 10% Ethanol blended Gasoline.

Industries were asked to provide their specific requirements regarding E10 fuel specifications so that the Industries concern can be safeguarded during E10 fuel specs finalization.

SIAM studied various fuel standards world-wide and suggestions regarding E10 fuel specs are made in BIS PANEL.

BIS released 10% Ethanol in gasoline specification as separate table

10% Ethanol Blended Gasoline Specifications

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E10 fuel specifications are available for China, Thailand, Australia, USA, California, South Africa.

Europe, New Zealand, France have draft specifications for E10 fuel.

Brazil has specifications for E22 fuel.

WWFC specifies that E10 fuel should meet all the requirements of Gasoline fuel.

When 10% Alcohol is blended with Gasoline, the following properties are affected :

Distillation characteristics

Reid vapour pressure

Vapour lock index (or) Flexible volatility Index

Oxygen content

Octane number & rating


Water Tolerance

Heating value (not controlled in the standards)

Stoichiometric air/fuel ratio (not controlled in the standards)

10% Ethanol blended Gasoline (E10) Specifications

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Ethanol Content


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Reid Vapour Pressure

  • Recommendation: E10 fuel can have same RVP as E5 values as specified in Indian Standard IS 2796-2000


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Vapour Lock Index (or) Flexible volatility Index

  • Recommendation: can be same as existing Gasoline/E5 fuel.









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New Properties/parameters available in Regulations of Other Countries

  • Distillation

    - T10 (10% evaporation temperature)

    - T50 (50% evaporation temperature)

    - T90 (90% evaporation temperature)

    - D.I. (Distillation index)

    [= (1.5 * T10) + (3 * T50) + T90

    + (11 * mass% of oxygen) ]

  • Existent unwashed Gum

  • Water content

  • Mercaptan sulfur content

  • Iron

  • Phosphorus

  • Potassium

  • Manganese

  • Silicon

  • Sediments

  • Mechanical impurities

  • Detergency

  • Kerosene

  • Water soluble acids or alkalis

  • Flash point

  • Carburettor cleanliness

  • Particle contamination, size distribution

  • Intake valve sticking

  • Combustion chamber deposits

    - Method I (ASTM D6201)

    - Method 2 (CEC-F-20-A-98)

    - Method 3 (TGA FLTM BZI154-01)

  • Deposit control additives

  • Vapour-Liquid ratio temperature (TV/L=20)

  • Silver strip corrosion

  • Total oxygenates

  • Ether oxygenates

    - Di-isopropyl ether (DIPE)

    - Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)

    - Ethyl tertiary Butyl ether (ETBE)

Are we going to recommend any specs for these properties for E10 Fuel?

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Indian Vehicle Parc


Total Registered Vehicles ~ 87 Mn

Source: Govt. of India Statistics of Registered Vehicles & SIAM estimates

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Fuel logistics Scenario in India

Surplus / (Deficit) – Y 2003/04

Diesel - 6.18 MMTPA.

Gasoline - 2.98 MMTPA.

LPG -(2.18)MMTPA

Kerosene - Nil (after stopping import by parallel Mkt)

ATF - 1.66 MMTPA

Gasoline & Diesel remain surplus for next 10 years while LPG & Natural Gas continue to be deficit.

Source: Petrofed

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Studies on 2 wheelers

Study the Effects of Ethanol blended gasoline fuel by Splash Procedure ( E-05,E-10)

Emission { E-05,E-10 }

Life of Components { E-10 }

Ethanol Compatibility { E-10 }

Cost Benefit { E-10 }

Performance ( on C/D ) { E-05,E-10 }

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Test Results ( Performance / Emission ) :(Y2KCompliant vehicles)


Vehicle Performance

88 ON




Power , kW

No significant variation

Acceleration , Sec


Max Speed , kmph


FE , kmpl

2 ~ 7% drop

Legends : -OK within Spec.

Remarks :- Drop in fuel efficiency observed

Mass Emission

88 ON




CO , gm / km

40 ~ 78 % drop

HC , gm / km

0 ~ 5 % increase

NOx , gm / km

17 ~ 25 % increase

HC + NOx , gm / km

7 ~ 8.5 % Increase

Remarks :- Drop in CO , gm / km, Increase in Nox , gm/km

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Test Results ( Performance / Emission ) :(Y2KCompliant vehicles)


Vehicle Performance

88 ON




Power , kW


Acceleration , Sec

5.5 ~ 7% drop

Max Speed , kmph


FE , kmpl

2 ~ 4% drop

Legends : -OK within Spec

Remarks :- Drop in fuel efficiency & Acceleration observed

Mass Emission

88 ON




CO , gm / km

30 ~ 64 % drop

HC , gm / km

9.5 ~ 24 % Increase

NOx , gm / km

10 ~ 32 % Increase

HC + NOx , gm / km

10 ~ 27 % Increase

Remarks :- Drop in CO ,& Increase in HC , Nox gm / km

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Test Results :-

  • DRIVEABILITY ( Overall DR )0~5 scale Rating

Legends:  - Drop in rating

Remarks :- 0.5-1.0 rank drop is felt by Customer

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10% Ethanol-Blended Gasoline

Existing Scenario ( All vehicles upto E-05 compliant ) :

Remarks :- Drop in Vehicle Perf / DR parameters

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Positive Impacts of Ethanol

  • Reduces vehicle emissions (CO,HC), Green house gases (CO2) & protects environment from climate change effects.

  • Less dependence on petroleum products & reduces imports of crude oil.

  • Greater use of biofuels brings oil market in to balance & reduces oil prices.

  • Increases National energy security.

  • Locally produced biofuels can provide energy for local agricultural, industrial & household uses at less than the cost of fossil fuels.

  • Replaces bad gasoline additives (MTBE & lead) which are sources of surface & ground water contamination & dangerous to human health.

  • Substantial increase in employment opportunities in the rural sector.

  • Increases net farm income & strengthens rural & agricultural economies.

  • Greening of wastelands & regeneration of forest lands.

Source: UN report “Sustainable Bioenergy: A Framework for Decision Makers”, April 2007

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Negative Impacts of Ethanol

  • Increased Aldehyde (a carcinogen) emissions, is a threat to nose, eyes, throat & possibly causes cancer.

  • Increases NOx, Evaporative emissions & fuel consumption.

  • Increased industrial wastes from sugar industries, distilleries which may be mixed up with rivers is an issue.

  • Increased ethanol production will lead to large scale mono-cropping of sugarcane which causes severe agricultural soil losses & nutrient leaching.

  • Substantial increase in water consumption during ethanol production & sugarcane cultivation.

  • As E10 vapour emissions will be more than gasoline, there is concern for health.

  • Demand for land to grow sugarcane could put pressure on competing land uses for food crops, resulting in likely increase in food prices.

  • Demand for ethanol would increase the price of sugarcane thereby affecting the price of sugar & other sugar-derived food commodities.

Source: UN report “Sustainable Bioenergy: A Framework for Decision Makers”, April 2007

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E10 Impact on Vehicle Performance

  • Driving abilityof ethanol is lower because of Distillation characteristics & RVP of ethanol blended fuel. ReducedCold & Hot Startability& Accelerationperformance.

  • E10 fuel affectsmaterial compatibility, engine wear & life. Rubber swelling & metalcorrosionincreases.

  • International experience confirms up to 3%Increase in Fuel consumptiondue to lower energy value of ethanol.

  • Tests confirms up to 2% reduction in Power.

  • NOx & Evaporative emissionsincreases up to 10% even though there is a reduction of CO and CO2 emissions .

  • Misfire(in some cases)

  • In-use vehiclesmay not be compatible with E10 fuel

  • Ethanol canabsorb water; If water enters the fuel tank, it dilutes ethanol, reducing its value as a fuel. It causes problems ofphase separationin fuel.

  • Ethanol absorbs dirts & carrriesinside the fuel lines and fuel tank, thus contaminating the car engine system.

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Vehicle Modifications Due to Ethanol Blending - General Trends

Source: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department, U.S. Department of Energy

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A joint project has been formulated in association with IOC, ARAI, SIAM, MoHI and MoPNG to study the technical feasibility of E10 fuel.

Project will have four parts:

Part I: Material Compatibility tests

Part II: Emission performance tests

Part III: Fuel and Lube testing, and

Part IV: Hot start and cold start tests

In this project, 29 vehicles will be tested;

4 wheelers – 11 nos.

2 wheelers – 15 nos.

3 wheelers – 3 nos.

Project proposal had already been submitted to Government.

SIAM – Government Consortium Project

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Concerns / Issues to be Resolved – Commercial Aspects

  • Adequate Ethanol is not available even for 5% blend.

  • Sugarcane crop being seasonal, ethanol availability as well as price become seasonal.

  • Multiple taxes such as state/central excise duty, sales tax, surcharge on S.T., export fee, import fee, permit fee, license fee & administration fee on denatured ethanol complicates inter-state movement.

  • Licensing and Procurement rules not clear because E10 is not listed as declared goods for excise duty.

  • Blending methodology is not standardized

  • Existing Handling, Storage, dispensing & retail Distribution systems are not compatible with E10 blended gasoline

  • Requires some specialized foam technologies to fight E95 & E10 fire hazards.

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Concerns / Issues to be Resolved – Blending related Issues

  • Usually, vehicle manufacturers blends ethanol by simple mixing at ambient temperature.

  • Blending at refineries are through some sophisticated controlled systems such as “in-line blenders” (or) “splash blenders” to control any water absorption into fuel.

  • Government need to notify rules related to place of blending i.e., at refineries (or) at dealers & method for ethanol blending, i.e., splash blending (or) in-line blending, etc.

  • There should be some control on the quality of ethanol fuel if ethanol is directly blended with gasoline in tankers.

  • Since ethanol distilleries are available locally in many districts, blending of ethanol is done at dealers site instead of transporting to refineries & again bringing back as ethanol fuel to dealers. This needs review.






Automatic in-line blending

E10 Fuel

Fuel Station Storage Tank

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States have different tax structures for Ethanol.

Different Taxes & Levies applicable to Denatured Ethanol are:

Central Excise Duty

State Excise Duty

Sales Tax

Surcharge on Sales tax

Export Fee (between one State to another State)

Import Fee (when imported from another State)

Permit Fee

Licence Fee

Privilege Fee (in Karnataka)

Turn-over tax (in Maharashtra)

Administration Fee

Central Govt need to notify ethanol as “declared good” under Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 to have uniform taxation throughout India.

Concerns / Issues to be Resolved – Taxation Issues

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Ethanol blended petrol to be identified by a suitable “Label” at the dispensing stations.

Concerns / Issues to be Resolved – Labelling

Examples of E10 Labelling followed in USA, Brazil and Australia.





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SIAM’s Demand for E10 Fuel in India

  • Separate Dispensing at petrol-pumps

  • Same Pricing as petrol

  • Throughout the year Availability throughout India

  • Ethanol Labelling at the point-of-sale

  • On-line blending instead of splash blending

  • Sufficient lead-time to SIAM

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