World Biofuel Day 2023: Significance, Initiatives

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World biofuel Day

World Biofuel Day is observed on August 10 every year to create awareness about the significance of biofuels in promoting sustainable development and reducing carbon emissions. The day highlights the importance of using renewable energy sources derived from biomass and organic materials. Biofuels play a crucial role in mitigating climate change, as they are considered a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. This day encourages nations to invest in research and development, policy frameworks, and incentives to further promote the adoption of biofuels, contributing to a greener and more environmentally friendly future.

Also Read: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2023

Background of World Biofuel Day

This day of global importance is observed in the memory of Sur Rudolf Diesel. This mechanical engineer invented the diesel engine in 1892. Furthermore, on 9th August 1983, Rudolf operated a peanut oil machine. With this experiment, he visualised the potential of vegetable oil in operating machinery. His peanut oil-based mechanical engine began the revolutionary concept of replacing fossil fuels with vegetable oils. Since then, World Biofuel Day is observed to celebrate this successful experiment. 

Significance of World Biofuel Day

In contemporary times, air pollution has become a major cause of concern owing to the deteriorating Air Quality Index (AQI) all across the globe. Additionally, the soaring temperatures due to fossil fuel burning are also alarming. To combat these two environmental issues, it has essential to shift from fossil fuels to biofuels. Furthermore, the urgent need to ensure a cleaner environment for a sustainable future should also be pivotal in promoting the use of biodegradable fuels. 

After realising the significance of biofuels, federal governments, private organisations, and non-governmental organisations observe World Biofuel Day to promote the use of this non-conventional energy source. Moreover, on the 10th of August each year, all the stakeholders raise awareness about the adverse effects of fossil fuel burning and depleting reserves of this conventional energy source. While highlighting the drawbacks of using fossil fuels, national, international, local, and private organisations also emphasise the advantages of biofuel. 

Also Read: World Environment Day: Theme, History, Importance

Initiatives by the Indian Government on Biofuel Promotion

The Government of India has implemented several measures to increase the use of biofuels, resulting in positive outcomes. India’s ethanol capacity has grown from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 7.93% in 2020-21, with ethanol supply rising from 38 crore litres to 322 crore litres during the same period. The ethanol blending percentage is expected to reach 8.50% in 2020-21 compared to a mere 1.53% in 2013-14. The ethanol distillation capacity has doubled, and the number of distilleries has increased by 40% in five years. 

Furthermore, the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 aims to achieve 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by 2030 to align with the vision of World Biofuel Day. Moreover, the policy was amended in May 2022 to allow more feedstocks, advance the ethanol blending target to 2025-26, promote biofuel production in Special Economic Zones (SEZs)/ Export Oriented Units (EoUs), and allow specific cases of biofuel exports. Bio-diesel blending started as a pilot project in 2001.

Other Initiatives to Promote Biofuel in India

In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, the central government has undertaken several initiatives to encourage the use of biofuel in India. Here are some important steps taken by the government to promote biofuels:

  • On June 5, 2021, on the occasion of International Environment Day, it was declared that the goal of achieving 20% ethanol-blended petrol has been brought forward by five years and is now set to be achieved by 2025.
  • In November 2021, the Government raised the prices of ethanol derived from carbon-heavy molasses to Rs 46.66/litre, from B-heavy molasses to Rs 59.08/litre, and set the price for sugarcane juice-based ethanol at Rs. 63.45/litre. These new rates will be applicable during the ethanol supply year from December 1, 2021, to November 30, 2022. Additionally, the Government decreased the GST on ethanol meant for blending in fuel from 18% to 5%.

Also Read: International Day of Biological Diversity 2023

Categories of Biofuel in India

As we celebrate World Biofuel Day, we must be aware of the different categories of biofuel in India. According to the Union Government of India, there are 5 important categories of Biofuel in the country. Let us now know a few facts about the same.


This alternative to conventional energy sources is an ethyl or methyl ester of fatty acids. This derivative of fatty acids is obtained from non-edible vegetable oils, bio-oil, acid oil, and used cooking oil. In addition, biodiesel is also derived from animal fat. 


This biofuel is extracted from biomass like starchy materials, sugar products, cellulosic materials, and industrial waste. Some of the common sugar-rich materials include sweet sorghum, sugarcane, and sugar beet. In addition, bioethanol is produced from cellulosic materials like forest and agriculture residues, wood waste, and bagasse. Furthermore, scratchy materials such as algae, corn, rotten potatoes, and cassava are also used to extract bioethanol. 

Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Bio-CNG refers to purified biogas which is derived from sewage water, agricultural residues, food waste, animal dung, and Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). The energy potential and composition of this biofuel are at par with fossil fuel-derived natural gas. 

Drop-in Fuels

Any liquid fuel created from biomass, agricultural waste, MSW, plastic waste, industrial waste, etc. that satisfies Indian standards for jet fuel, HSD, and MS, in blended or pure form, for use in automobiles without requiring engine system modifications and that can use the current petroleum distribution system.

Advanced Biofuels

Fuels derived from non-food crops like algae and grasses, residue streams, and industrial waste are termed advanced biofuels. In addition, fuels extracted from lignocellulosic feedstocks such as wood biomass, corn cob, rice straw, wheat straw, and bagasse are also considered advanced biofuels. 

Moreover, fuels with high Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG) reduction or low Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emission also come under this biofuel category in India. Some common examples of these fuels include DME (Di Methyl Ether), Drop-in Fuels, bio-CNG, Third Generation (3G) biofuels derived from algae, 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol, bio-methanol based DME (Di-Methyl Ether), and bio-hydrogen. 

Also Read: World Earth Day 2023


When is World Biofuel Day celebrated?

It is observed on the 10th of August each year. This day is observed in memory of Sir Rudolf Diesel. 

What are the biofuel categories in India?

In India, biofuel is categorised into five important categories, viz, Bioethanol, Bio-CNG, Advanced Biofuels, Drop-in Fuels, and Biodesel.

What is the significance of Biofuel Day?

This day is observed to promote the use of biofuel by highlighting its importance and raising awareness about the drawbacks of fossil fuels. 

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