Food grain surplus approved for ethanol production

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In India, the Cabinet approved a national biofuels policy that now allows food grains to be used to produce ethanol during surplus production years. While ethanol is mostly produced from molasses in India currently, this opens the door for ethanol to be produced from plants such as sugarcane, beets, cassava as well as damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, and rotten potatoes. The government hopes this will not affect food supply concerns while giving them a better chance to meet their 5% ethanol and biodiesel blends, which currently sit at around 2% for petrol and .5% for diesel.

“Farmers are at a risk of not getting appropriate price for their produce during the surplus production phase. Taking this into account, the Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee,” an official statement said according to Economic Times.