India is shortly going to
implement Methanol 15% blending programme with petrol and the cost of petrol is
expected to come down immediately by 10% and M100 programme for buses and
trucks is also to be implemented shortly. This was stated by Nitin Gadkari,
Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources,
River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. He stated this before the Lok Sabha
on December 28, 2017.
“My Ministry has already
prepared the draft notification of M15, M100 & Di Methyl Ether (DME) as
transport fuel and is expecting a clearance from Law ministry to be notified
officially. India has had extensive discussions with Israel , which has
successfully implemented Methanol 15 (M15) blending programme for technology
transfer,” Gadkari noted.
Methnaol 15 (M15) in petrol
will reduce pollution by 33% and diesel replacement by methanol will reduce pollution
by more than 80%
India has successfully
converted a two-wheeler engine, a Genset, power weeder (agriculture equipment)
and is in process of converting many IC engines to Methanol, including railways
and marine, the Minister said.
The final roadmap for
‘Methanol Economy’ being worked out by NITI Aaayog is targeting an annual
reduction of US $ 100 Billion by 2030 in crude imports. To promote this
renewable, alternate fuel a “Methanol Economy Fund” is also being contemplated.
A cabinet note on Methanol in Inland Waterways and Marine Sector and overall
adaptation of “Methanol Economy” will be moved shortly, the Minister said.
Benefits in Transportation sector
With very little modifications
to existing engines (vehicles) and fuel distribution infrastructure, 15% of all
vehicle fuels can be converted to Methanol & Di Methyl Ether (DME), Gadkari
observed. Global engine manufactures like Volvo, Caterpillar, Mercedes and in
collaboration with Indian players can manufacture these engines under the Make in India and will result in big
FDI investments. The development of this sector will bring jobs in the
engineering sector, he pointed out
India by adopting Methanol can
have its own indigenous fuel at the cost of approximately Rs 19 per litre, at
least 30% cheaper than any available fuel. Methanol fuel can result in great
environmental benefits and can be the answer to the burning urban pollution
issue. At least 20% diesel consumption can be reduced in next 5-7 years and
will result in a savings of Rs 26,000 crore annually. Rs. 6000 crore can be
annually saved from reduced bill in LPG in the next three years itself. The
Methanol blending programme with gasoline will further reduce our fuel bill by
at least Rs 5000 crore annually in next three years.
The ‘Make in India’ programme
will get a further boost by both producing fuel indigenously and associated growth
in automobile sector adding engineering jobs and also investments in Methanol
based industries (FDI and Indian). However, Coal and Stranded Gas linkages are
import policy initiatives to be taken, he said.
Focus is on augmenting
Methanol production capacity of existing producers like GNFC, RCF & Assam
Petro and through various routes of production, India will target a Methanol
production of at least 5 million tons by 2021. PSU’s like BHEL, CIL & SAIL
are contemplating to produce Methanol though the coal route and Oil PSU’s
through the stranded gas route. BHEL at Trichy, the Talcher Fertilizer plant
can also produce Methanol in large quantities in a short period of time, he
Rising bill for crude oil a worry
Gadkari pointed out that India needs around 2900 crore litres of petrol
and 9000 crore litres of diesel per year currently, the 6th highest consumer in
the world. India, he said will double consumption of these fuels and become the
3rd largest consumer by 2030. The country’s import bill on account of crude
stands at almost Rs 6 lakh crore at present..
Hydrocarbon fuels have also
adversely affected the environment with Green House Gas Emissions (GHG). India
is the third highest energy related carbon dioxide emitter country in the
world. Almost 30%pollution in cities like Delhi is from automobiles and the
growing number of automobiles on the road will further worsen the pollution. The
Minister said the time has come for the government to present a comprehensive
road map to reduce the urban pollution in the country and stop pollution
related deaths completely.
He noted that Prime Minister Narendra
Modi has set a goal for the country to reduce the crude import bill by 10% by
the year 2022. “Crude oil imports drain our foreign exchange, putting enormous
pressure on our currency and thereby weakening our bargaining power with the
rest of the world. We need to have our own Indian Fuel of global relevance,” he
Methanol is a clean burning
drop in fuel which can replace both petrol and diesel in transportation and
substitute for LPG, wood, kerosene in cooking fuel. It can also replace diesel
in Railways, Marine Sector, Gensets, Power Generation and Methanol based
reformers could be the ideal compliment to Hybrid and Electric Mobility.
Methanol Economy is the “Bridge” to the dream of a complete “Hydrogen based
fuel systems”, he said.
Methanol burns efficiently in
all internal combustion engines, produces no particulate matter , no soot ,
almost nil SOX and NOX emissions (NEAR ZERO POLLUTION). The gaseous version of
Methanol – DME can blended with LPG and can be excellent substitute for diesel
in large buses and trucks.
Methanol can be produced from
Natural Gas , Indian High Ash Coal , Bio-mass, MSW , stranded and flared gases
and India can achieve (through right technology adaptation} to produce Methanol
@ Rs.19 a litre from Indian coal and all other feedstock. The best part is the world
is already moving towards renewable methanol from C02 and the perpetual
recycling of C02 into Methanol, say CO2 emitted from Steel plants, Geothermal
energy or any other source of CO2, effectively “Air to Methanol”
Global use of Methanol and DME
During the last few years, the
use of Methanol and DME as fuel has increased significantly. Methanol demand is
growing at a robust 6 to 8 % annually. Globally, the installed capacity of Methanol
is 120 MT and will increase to about 200
MT by 2025.
Currently Methanol accounts
for almost 9% of transport fuel in China. China alone produces 65% of world
Methanol and it uses its coal to produce Methanol. Israel, Italy have adopted
the Methanol 15% blending programme with Petrol and fast moving towards M85
& M100. Japan, Korea have extensive Methanol & DME usage and Australia
has adopted GEM fuels (Gasoline, Ethanol & Methanol) and blends almost 56%
Methanol. Methanol has become the choice of fuel in Marine Sector worldwide and
countries like Sweden are at the forefront of usage. Large passenger ships
carrying more than 1500 people are already running on 100% Methanol. Around 11 African and many Caribbean countries
have adopted Methanol cooking fuel and across the world Gensets and industrial
boilers are running on Methanol, instead of diesel.
Renewable Methanol by
capturing Co2 back from the atmosphere is becoming very popular and is seen by
the world as the “Enduring Energy Solution known to Mankind”. Methanol is a
significant solution to the burning problem of Urban pollution worldwide, the
What India Can
India has an installed
Methanol Production capacity of 2 MT per annum. As per the plan prepared by
NITI Aayog, using Indian High Ash coal, Stranded gas, and Biomass can produce
20MT of methanol annually by 2025.
India, with 125 Billion Tonnes of proven Coal reserves and 500 million tonnes
of Biomass generated every year and the huge quantities of Stranded &
Flared gases has a huge potential for ensuring energy security based on
alternate feedstock and fuels.
NITI Aaayog has drawn out a
road map to substitute 10% of Crude imports by 2030, by Methanol alone. This
requires approximately 30MT of Methanol. Methanol & DME are substantially
cheaper than Petrol and Diesel and India can look to reduce its fuel bill 30%
NITI Aayog’s road map for Methanol Economy comprises:
· Production of methanol from
Indian high ash coal from indigenous technology, in large quantities and adopting regional
production strategies and produce Methanol in large quantities @ Rs. 19 a
litre. India will adopt Co2 capturing technology to make the use of coal fully
environment friendly and our commitments to COP21
· Bio-mass, Stranded Gas &
MSW for methanol production. Almost 40% of Methanol Production can be through
these feed stocks.
· Utilisation of methanol as
well as DME in transportation – rail, road, marine and defence. Industrial boilers,
diesel gensets, power generation and mobile towers are other applications
· Utilisation of methanol and
DME as domestic cooking fuel- cook stoves . LPG = DME blending programme.
· Utilisation of methanol in
fuel cell applications in marine, gensets and transportation.
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