HPCL undertakes pilot study on E27 fuel and ethanol-blended diesel
Preliminary studies conducted on vehicles fuelled with E27 have shown marked reduction in emissions like CO and THC when compared to traditional gasoline.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has announced a groundbreaking pilot study on vehicles using E27 fuel and ethanol-blended diesel fuel. With this, HPCL becomes the first oil marketing company in India to initiate such a comprehensive research program, in line with the ‘Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025’, which aims to promote the adoption of ethanol blending in gasoline (petrol).
The roadmap, designed to usher in a greener and more sustainable future, outlines a phased rollout plan for achieving 20% Ethanol Blended Gasoline (E20) by April 2023 and ensuring its widespread availability by April 2025. It further emphasises the introduction of E20 material-compliant and E10 engine-tuned vehicles starting from April 2023, followed by the production of E20-tuned engine vehicles from April 2025.
At HPCL's state-of-the-art Green R&D Centre in Devanagunthi, Bengaluru, efforts are underway to conduct comprehensive research on biofuels. The centre's team is evaluating the effects and performance of different blends of ethanol-gasoline, ranging from 10% to 27%, as well as various blends of ethanol-diesel, on different categories of test vehicles at the Engine Research laboratory.
According to HPCL, preliminary studies conducted on vehicles fuelled with E27 have shown remarkable reductions in emissions like CO and THC when compared to traditional gasoline. Additionally, significant potential for reducing net CO2 emissions has been observed. By utilizing higher ethanol blends in two-wheelers and passenger cars, we can substantially contribute to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote a low-carbon economy. As part of the pilot launch, HPCL will also evaluate ethanol-diesel trials on passenger cars, aiming for a targeted mileage accumulation of 20,000 km initially.
On June 6, World Environment Day 2023, HPCL initiated the pilot study on vehicles utilising E27 fuel and Ethanol Blended Diesel Fuel. The pilot involved the participation of six vehicles, including a configuration of 1x4W and 2x2W for E27 fuel testing, 1x4W for Ethanol blended Diesel fuel testing, 1x3W for Compressed Bio-Gas fuel testing, and 1x4W for E20 fuel study.
The pilot study of E27 fuel will focus on assessing its performance and emissions in engines and vehicles through extended mileage accumulation. Mileage accumulation of up to 10,000 km for two-wheelers and 20,000 km for passenger cars using E27 fuel is planned for this phase. Ethanol trials, in accordance with IS 1460:2017 fuel specifications, will also be conducted in conjunction with biodiesel-diesel.
Looking ahead, India's next milestone in the ethanol blending program is achieving 27% ethanol blending beyond E20 fuel. This is what Brazil has already achieved.
HPCL launched E20 fuel on February 6, 2023, at 23 retail outlets (ROs) across the country. To further progress towards achieving the target of 20% ethanol blending by 2025 and expand the network of E20 ROs nationwide, HPCL has increased the number of E20 ROs to 350, the highest among industry players. These E20 ROs are strategically spread across 21 states in the country.
Since the introduction of E20 fuel, HPCL states that it “has already reduced approximately 3000 MT of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to date.” It is projected that by 2025, the use of E20 fuel will contribute to the reduction of more than 200 lakh MT of GHG emissions. This significant reduction in emissions underscores HPCL's commitment to environmental sustainability.
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