Stating this in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal said no biodiesel has been procured by the OMCs for blending with diesel.

The Minister said the blending of ethanol would be increased progressively depending upon the availability of ethanol to reach the five percent mandatory level.

He said ethanol is being produced in the country mainly from sugarcane molasses which is limited by production of sugar and is being used for potable alcohol and chemical industry, with the balance used for blending in petrol.     

Goyal said for enhancing production of biofuels, "research and development is being supported for production of bioethanol from ligno-cellulosic biomass and for improving the yields of tree-borne oilseeds for production of bio-diesel".

The Minister said research and development in biofuels, especially the second and third generation biofuels is being supported mainly by the Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

He said a total of Rs 107.15 crore has been allocated for them during the 12th Plan period and the expenditure so far has been to the tune of Rs 67.14 crore.

The Minister added that the Department of Science and Technology is supporting research and development in the use of biofuels in engines.

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