The single largest source of energy in India after coal is petroleum, about two third of which is imported. The petroleum derived fuels i.e. Motor gasoline and diesel are the two major fuels extensively used today.
The high dependence on imported source of energy is an issue related to energy security of the country. And combustion of fossil fuels has been recognized as a major cause of air pollution in Indian cities. Although CNG and LPG are being promoted as clauses alternatives but both of them are short in supply and we have to depend on imports to meet the requirements. In the new Petroleum policy passed on 6th October this year though CNG and LPG are promoted but petrol and diesel continue to remain are the 2 major fuels to be used.
We therefore need to look for cleaner alternatives which could not only decrease pollution but also our dependence on other countries. Among the various alternatives biofuels like ethanol and bio-diesel which can be produced from a host of bio source can be easily be used as blending components of both petrol and diesel in existing engines without modifications. Unlike CNG and LPG new infrastructure for supply and distribution of fuel. Further these fuels production will help use surplus agriculture produce and help in rural development. Ethanol is used more in petrol engines, bio diesel finds application in diesel engines. They add oxygen to respective fuels, which in turn improves combustion efficiency and reduces harmful exhaust emissions.