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E20 Fuel and Green Hydrogen Production

In a recent announcement, the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, highlighted that petrol blended with 20% ethanol.

Why in News?

In a recent announcement, the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, highlighted that petrol blended with 20% ethanol, known as E20, will soon be available at 1,000 outlets of oil marketing companies (OMCs) nationwide. The National Green Hydrogen Mission aim to achieve a production capacity of 5 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) per annum by 2030, was also highlighted.

What is Ethanol Blending             

The processing of sugar from sugarcane mainly obtains ethanol, but it can also be obtained from other sources such as rice husk or maize. The process of blending ethanol with petrol to burn less fossil fuel while running vehicles is called Ethanol Blending.

E20 Fuel

  • E20 fuel is a blend of 20% ethanol and 80% petrol. The Prime Minister of India launched the E20 in Bengaluru in February 2023. This pilot project covers at least 15 cities and will be rolled out across the country in a phased manner. India has been increasing its ethanol blending in petrol from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 10.17% in 2022.
    • The government has advanced its target to achieve 20% ethanol blending in petrol from 2030 to 2025.
    • During our G20 presidency, the government has also proposed to launch a global biofuel alliance with countries like Brazil to promote biofuels internationally.


E20 fuel has several advantages over conventional petrol, such as:

  • It reduces vehicular tailpipe emissions by lowering the carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides levels.
    • It improves engine performance and reduces maintenance costs by preventing corrosion and deposits.
    • It reduces the import bill for crude oil by substituting domestic ethanol production.


  • Shift Towards Sugarcane Production: In order to achieve a 20% blend rate, almost one-tenth of the existing net sown area will have to be diverted for sugarcane production.Any such land requirement is likely to put a stress on other crops and has the potential to increase food prices.
    • Storage Constraint: Annual capacity of required bio-refineries is stipulated to be 300-400 million litres, which is still not enough to meet the 5% petrol-ethanol blending requirement.Storage is going to be the main concern, for if E10 supply has to continue in tandem with E20 supply, storage would have to be separate which then raises costs.

What is Green Hydrogen?

  • Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water using renewable or green energy.
    • It is considered the cleanest form of energy, as it does not emit any greenhouse gases when used.
      • India has the potential to become a leader and a superpower in green hydrogen production, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).India has abundant renewable capacity, especially solar power, which can be used to produce green hydrogen at low cost.
      • India has also set a target of producing 5 million metric tonnes of green hydrogen per annum by 2025-26 under its National Hydrogen Mission.
      • The private sector is also actively engaged in pursuing green hydrogen production and has attracted significant investment from international sources.


  • Decarbonizing Energy Systems: Green hydrogen can be used as a clean energy carrier and stored for later use.
    • It can be utilised in sectors such as power generation, heating, and
    • Production of Green Ammonia: Green hydrogen has the potential to replace traditional fertilisers in agriculture through the production of ammonia using renewable energy sources.
    • Off-Grid and Remote Power Generation: Green hydrogen can provide reliable and clean power in off-grid or remote locations where access to electricity is limited.


  • Cost: Currently, the production of green hydrogen is more expensive compared to hydrogen produced from fossil fuels through steam methane reforming.
    • Scale and Infrastructure: Establishing a comprehensive green hydrogen infrastructure, including production, storage, and transportation, is a significant challenge.
    • Energy Efficiency: The process of electrolysis requires large amounts of electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Way Forward

  • Policy and Regulatory Framework: India needs to formulate and implement supportive policies that provide incentives for ethanol production, blending, and use, as well as promote the development of green hydrogen.
  • Technological Advancements: In the case of E20, advanced blending technologies, such as flex-fuel engines and compatible fuel systems, need to be developed and made widely available.
  • Public Awareness and Acceptance: Public awareness and acceptance play a significant role in the successful adoption of E20 and Green Hydrogen.

Read also:- Green Hydrogen Mission

E20 Fuel and Green Hydrogen Production,E20 Fuel and Green Hydrogen Production

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