fuel-blending

Fuel Blending

Will the advent of electric vehicle outcast the need for fuel blending?

It is true that the need for electric vehicles has increased dramatically as it has been widely adopted all across the world. The primary objective of boosting the roll-out of electric vehicles was the need to reduce the levels of carbon emission and fuel consumption. It’s natural to think, if an electric vehicle is a solution for reducing pollution, then what is the point of using fuel powered-vehicle? But the automotive industry has taken a new turn by widely using blended fuels, such as ethanol-gasoline blends (e10, E15, E85). According to the analysis, ethanol can decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 20-50 percent as compared with gasoline. The fuel blends provide an alternative to traditional gasoline because they reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote the use of green energy sources. Furthermore, the government has promoted the manufacturing of ethanol-blended fuel, which is driving automakers to create engines that can adapt to the consumption of this fuel without reducing the engine's power and life.

fuel-blending

What is Fuel Blending?

Does it sound fishy?

The name of the method may be deceiving; it appears that something is added to the fuel that affects its purity. The reality, however, is quite the contrary. The procedure of combining two or more distinct fuels to generate a new fuel mixture with desired features and characteristics is referred to as fuel blending. Blending fuel is commonly used to increase fuel performance, improve environmental features, or meet special needs. Blending can take place at several stages of the fuel production and distribution process, such as refining, storage, or directly in the cars or equipment that is being fueled. Fuel blending allows for the customization of fuel properties by adjusting factors such as energy content, volatility, octane rating, volatility, viscosity, and emissions. With the help of fuel blending techniques, the world can displace the use of petroleum. For instance, E10 consists of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, B5 contains 5% biodiesel and 95% diesel. Moreover, the fuel blends do not necessarily want the use of conventional fuel, it can also be done by using alternative fuels.

Different types of Fuel Blending

  • Biofuel Blending: It entailed the substitution of conventional fuels for biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel, which is a widespread practice to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of renewable energy sources. Blending biofuels permit the inclusion of renewable components into the gasoline mix.
  • Gasoline Blending: Blending petrol entails combining multiple components, such as hydrocarbons and additives, to create the desired fuel qualities. Blending different grades of petrol, integrating ethanol as an oxygenate, or adding performance-enhancing chemicals are all examples of this.
  • Alternative Fuel Blending: Blending traditional gasoline with alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), LPG, green hydrogen, or electric power results in alternative fuel blends with various environmental advantages for performance.
  • Diesel Blending: Diesel blending may entail combining various forms of diesel fuels, such as biodiesel and Petro diesel, to produce biodiesel mixes with varied concentrations. These mixes are typically referred to as B5 (5% biodiesel) or B20 (20% biodiesel), among other designations.
fuel-blending

Who Performs the Fuel Blending

Fuel blending can take place at any point in the supply chain, however, it is most typically done by oil makers, refineries, or specialized blending facilities. These organizations have the requisite mixing equipment, experience, and resources.

  • REFINERIES: They receive crude oil and refine it into various fuel components such as petrol, diesel, and jet fuel. Different gasoline components are blended in specified amounts in refineries to obtain the necessary fuel mixes.
  • ADDITIVE SUPPLIERS: They are critical in gasoline blending because they provide specialized additives that improve fuel performance and meet certain regulatory criteria. To obtain desired qualities and meet industry requirements, additives such as detergents, antioxidants, or anti-knock agents are frequently blended into the base fuel.
  • FUEL DISTRIBUTORS: They have blending facilities and they also interact with fuel makers and blending facilities to guarantee that specified fuel blends are available in their distribution networks.
  • OEMs and EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS: They work closely with fuel suppliers to ensure the fuel blends meet the specification and requirements of their engines or equipment.

The New Development in Fuel Blending

  • In the joint effort by Mitsubishi Power, Georgia Power, and Electric Power Research Institute commenced the blending of hydrogen fuel with natural gas. This is the first time in history that validates 10% H2 blending on the advanced class gas turbine. It is the largest hydrogen blending so far and has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 7% in comparison to natural gas. This project brought the world near to achieving net-zero goals
  • Cheveron USA Inc. launched an interesting road trip across the gulf coast of the United States, few person from Toyota and Cheveron drove Toyota’s Tundra, RAV4, and Camry by fueling it up with a new gasoline blend that has more than 50% renewable content. This new fuel has less than 40% of carbon content.
  • Tata Motors has been researching H2ICE, a hydrogen-powered vehicle. The technology is presently under development and will take some time; however, it will undoubtedly be an important stepping stone toward achieving net-zero ambitions. Tata unveiled 14 items to answer the rising need for safer mobility that supports the country's infrastructure, increases fuel efficiency, expands other fuel solutions, and improves safety.

Global Approach in Fuel Blending

fuel-blending
  • NORTH AMERICA
  • Based on our data going back to 2007, the summer 2022 fuel ethanol mix rate from June to August hit 10.5%, the highest calculated blend rate. The majority of petrol sold in the United States currently contains some ethanol. In the United States, ethanol blending contributes to complying with the specifications for reformulated petrol (RFG) in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Renewable Fuel Standard in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. As a response to the leaders of corn-producing Midwestern states such as Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois, in June 2023, the United States Environmental Protection Agency proposed an act that would enable the sale of petrol with a higher ethanol blend in specific Midwest states. This will allow the agency to eliminate an effective prohibition on E15, or fuel containing 15% ethanol.

fuel-blending
  • ASIA PACIFIC
  • In 2020-21, India's net imports of fuel were 185 Mt at a cost of USD 551 billion USD. The majority of petroleum products are used in transportation. As a result, a good E20 program that boosts bioethanol as a biofuel production can save the country USD 4 billion per year. The Indian government established the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Program to improve India's energy security, reduce fuel import dependency, save foreign exchange, and stimulate the domestic agriculture industry. The Government's notified 'National Policy on Biofuels' in 2018 projected a rough target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2030. However, given the good performance and many interventions implemented by the government since 2014, the aim of 20% ethanol blending has been pushed back from 2030 to 2025-26.

fuel-blending
  • EUROPE
  • The major share of petrol sold at European petrol stations now contains 5% bioethanol and 95% petrol, denoted by an E5 label, although certain countries have transitioned to a new generation of fuel, that is E10 containing up to 10% bioethanol


Conclusion

The world is seeing the trend of electric vehicles, that will eliminate the need for fuel, but it really doesn’t mean the process of fuel blending will cease. Fuel blending has benefitted various industries including automotive, aviation, marine, power, agriculture and farming, and others. In the automotive sector, the EV is primarily increasing because of its ability to reduce carbon emissions, but ethanol-blended fuel has also significantly contributed to sustainability. When compared to ordinary petrol, ethanol blends emit 20% less hydrocarbons. E20 fuel resulted in even higher reductions in carbon monoxide emissions, with two-wheelers emitting 50% less and four-wheelers emitting 30% less. On the other hand, fuel blending has also added extra income for the farmers doing sugar cane farming. It is primarily supporting the agricultural sector through increased demand for biofuel feedstocks, promoting rural development and agricultural diversification.

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Swara Keni

Head- Global Business Development

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