Seeds of Jatropha curcas. These seeds are a source of non-edible oil for biodiesel production. Photo by Marco Schmidt/Wikimedia Commons.
World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10 August. It aims to raise awareness about the use of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels.
A biofuel is a fuel that is derived from biomass, such as plants, agricultural wastes, crops, algae, or animal wastes. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the advantages of using non-fossil fuels as a substitute for fossil fuels. Biofuels should be used instead of fossil fuels for a number of reasons. One of the top reasons is that it can contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.
The theme of World Biofuel Day 2022
Every year on 10 August, World Biofuel Day is observed. The theme for World Biofuel Day in 2021 was ‘the promotion of biofuels for a better environment.’ This tells us that we should promote biofuels in our daily lives to reduce our dependence on crude oil. By doing this we are also helping the salvation of the planet.
The theme for this year in 2022 is yet to be announced.
Variants of Biofuels
Here are different variants of biofuel in India
- Bioethanol: Ethanol is produced from biomass such as sugar-containing materials, like sugarcane, sugar beet, sweet sorghum etc.; starch-containing materials such as corn, cassava, rotten potatoes, algae etc.; and cellulosic materials such as bagasse, wood waste, agricultural and forestry residues or other renewable resources like an industrial waste;
- Biodiesel: a methyl or ethyl ester of fatty acids produced from non-edible vegetable oils, acid oil, used cooking oil or animal fat and bio-oil;
- Advanced biofuels: Fuels which are
- produced from lignocellulosic feedstocks (i.e. agricultural and forestry residues, e.g. rice & wheat straw/corn cob s & stover/bagasse, woody biomass), non-food crops (i.e. grasses, algae), or industrial waste and residue streams
- having low CO2 emission or high GHG reduction and do not compete with food crops for land use. Fuels such as Second Generation (2G) Ethanol, Drop-in fuels, algae-based 3G biofuels, bio-CNG, bio-methanol, Di Methyl Ether (DME) derived from bio-methanol, bio-hydrogen, drop-in fuels with MSW as the source/feedstock material will qualify as “Advanced Biofuels”.
- Drop-in fuels: Any liquid fuel produced from Biomass, agri-residues, wastes such as Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW), Plastic wastes, Industrial wastes etc. which meets the Indian standards for MS, HSD and Jet fuel, in pure or blended form, for its subsequent utilization in vehicles without any modifications in the engine systems and can utilize existing petroleum distribution system.
- Bio-CNG: The purified form of bio-Gas whose composition & energy potential is similar to that of fossil-based natural gas and is produced from agricultural residues, animal dung, food waste, MSW and Sewage water.
Quick facts Biofuel and its usage in India
Here are quick facts about Biofuel and its usage in India
- The Centre plans to advance the ethanol blending target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol to ESY 2025-26 from 2030.
- SpiceJet plane made history in the Indian transport sector by flying 285 kilometres from Dehradun to New Delhi propelled by biofuel (a 25% bioethanol blend).
- India’s biofuel policy, made in 2018, aims to have country-wide blending rates of 20% ethanol and 5% biodiesel by 2030.
History of World Biofuel Day
World Biofuel Day is celebrated to honour Sir Rudolf Diesel. As the name suggests, he was the one who invented the diesel engine. And he was the first one to predict the use of vegetable oils as an alternative to fossil fuels with an experiment.
He was the first one to run a mechanical engine with peanut oil. To mark this marvellous experiment, World Biofuel Day is celebrated.
In 2015, we celebrated World Biofuel Day for the first time, and in 2022 it will be celebrated for the 8th time. This day was created by the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.