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First 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery in India to be set up at Bathinda
Jan 05, 2017

Why in news:

The Foundation Stone laying ceremony for setting up the first Second Generation (2G) Ethanol Bio-refinery in India is being held onTarkhanwala, Bathinda (Punjab).


  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a Central Government Public Sector Undertaking, is setting up the project.
  • The Bathinda Bio-refinery will be utilizing agriculture residues for production of 100 KL per day or 3.20 crore litres per annum of ethanol which may be sufficient to meet the 26% of the ethanol blending requirement of the State.
  • The proposed Bio-refinery will generate employment for about 1200 -1300 persons in the Biomass supply chain and generate an additional income of approximately Rs 20 crores per annum for the farmers through purchase of their agriculture residues.
  • The project shall also help in reducing CO2 emissions from the paddy straw which currently is being burnt after harvesting.
  • One of the major outputs of this Bio-refinery shall be Bio-fertilizer approximating 30,000 tonnes per annum which shall be incorporated into the soil for improving soil fertility and overall productivity of farms in Punjab. 
  • The Bio-refinery shall also produce more than 1.00 lakh Kg of Bio-CNG per annum which can cater to transport and clean cooking requirements.
  • The Bio-refinery at Bathinda is the first step towards achieving 10% blending of Ethanol in petrol. Similar 2G Bio-refineries at other places are expected to be started soon.


Biofuels are fuels produced directly or indirectly from organic material – biomass – including plant materials and animal waste.

They may be derived from agricultural crops, including conventional food plants or from special energy crops. Biofuels may also be derived from forestry, agricultural or fishery products or municipal wastes, as well as from agro-industry, food industry and food service by-products and wastes. On basis of technology and material use can classified as:

1G (generation):

 Most of the first generation biofuels are sourced from crop plants as energy-containing molecules like sugars, oils and cellulose. They provide only limited biofuel yields and have a negative impact on food security.

Stable, known technology that, depending on feedstock cost, can be cost competitive with fossil fuels.

Cons: Open to food vs fuel criticisms, and generally has feedstock commodity price volatility, as well as geographic limitations that do not always match up well with fuel demand.

2G (Generation)

Made from marginal croplands unsuitable for food production, or using non-food crops and residues, where the biomass is consumed in production. Cellulosic ethanol technology fits in here, as do non-food crop technologies such as jatropha-based biofuels.  


Pros: A wider selection of geographies; more available biomass; less controversial.

Cons: Early days for the technology; high capital costs; domestication issues with some feedstocks such as jatropha.

3rd generation

Biofuels made using using non-arable land, based on integrated technologies that produce a feedstock as well as a fuel (or fuel precursor, such as pure vegetable oil), and require the destruction of biomass. 


4th generation

Biofuels which can be made using non-arable land, and do not require the destruction of biomass.  


Pros: Can be made anywhere where CO2 and water is found in sufficient concentration; less controversial for biodiversity, environment advocates. Generally, the processes produce drop-in fuels.

Cons: Early days for the technology; can de dependent on a source for low-cost sugars, or CO2; high capital costs; generally speaking, use microbial organisms to do the fuel conversion and processing times generally need to be improved to make fuels cost-competitive.



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