The Indian government is accelerating its programme of blending ethanol with petrol for two reasons: Our petroleum import bill is continuously increasing (we import more than 85 per cent of all our requirements) and two, we have surplus of sugar in India, which has no takers in the export market.
The government is also encouraging the use of other sources of sugar from which ethanol could be produced, for instance, sweet sorghum (SS).
Sweet sorghum is a multipurpose crop. It produces grain from its earhead for human consumption; sweet juice from its stem can either produce syrup or could be fermented to produce ethanol; and the bagasse and leaves make good fodder for animals.
Thus from the same piece of land it can simultaneously produce food, fuel and fodder. Sweet sorghum is a dryland crop and uses 40 per cent less water than sugarcane to produce sugar. Read More
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