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We live on petroleum. It is the most wonderful fuel man knows today. More than 90% of vehicular fuel needs of today are met by petroleum products. And that’s where two thirds of the world’s oil goes every year.

India consumes 2.5 million barrels of which it imports 1.2 million barrels every day.

What makes Petroleum so great?

The big challenge is not just to acquire energy, but to transport it. Fuels represent the most convenient and cost effective way of having ‘portable energy’ at the scale we use in the present world. Storing energy is extremely hard. 2nd law of thermodynamics sees to that. The ‘storing’ process for petroleum was done long before, in large amounts. Took a great job off our hands. Petroleum, even at ~$100 per barrel is cheap for a fuel, at least in comparison with other energy storage methods.

Do you know that the World Crude Oil Reserves will finish in the next 27 years?

Even assuming that additional crude oil reserves are found, it may only extend this period only by another 15 years. Can you imagine what will happen if the flow of fuel to your neighborhood bunk stops? Do you remember last strike by Truckers and Oil Companies? But that was only temporary. What would happen to all vehicles and engines that run on the principle of internal combustion? Can you imagine what would happen to our economy?

Is there a solution? Yes, there is but adequate is not being done to mobilize the same well before the World runs out of cheap Crude Oil. The solution is Ethanol. Yes, Ethanol is the only serious competitor which has the potential for seamlessly replacing petroleum as a fuel without causing a major upheaval on the economy.

click here to Save and view a presentation by Indro Neil Ghosh on techno economic aspects of Ethanol, the wonder fuel of tommorow,
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