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Bioethanol - A Viable Answer to India-s Surging Energy Needs
India is currently the second most populous nation in the world with over 1.2 billion people, growing annually at the rate of 1.5%. It is experiencing a surge in energy demands, expected to grow more than three to four times in 25 years. Most of the energy requirements are currently satisfied by the import of fossil fuels – coal, petroleum-based products and natural gas. Biofuels can satisfy these energy needs in an environmentally benign and cost effective manner while reducing dependence on import of fossil fuels, thus providing National Energy Security. Among various forms of bioenergy, bioethanol is one of the major options for India because of availability of feed stock crops. This paper presents an overview on bioethanol production and technology, steps taken by the Indian government to facilitate and bring about optimal development and utilization of indigenous biomass feedstocks for production of this biofuel.
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