ANANTAPUR: Improper blending of 10 per cent of ethanol and lack of awareness were leading to embarrassment for vehicle owners and fuel-filling stations where water is present in petrol.
As per guidelines, 10 per cent of ethanol should be blended with petrol and even if a few drops of water fall into the fuel tanks, the entire ethanol turns into water as it is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from air.
For instance, a tense situation prevailed at a petrol bunk in Anantapur a couple of days back when many vehicle owners ransacked the fuel station for mixing water with petrol.
The Union government has emphasised on achieving energy security of the country with a target of reducing import dependence. Ethanol is an agro based product and a by-product of sugar industries and contains 35 per cent oxygen, which when mixed with fuels result in complete fuel combustion and non-toxic, water soluble and is easily biodegradable.
The Ethanol Blended Petrol programme was launched by the Centre in January 2003 in nine States and four Union Territories, including Andhra Pradesh.
Analysts say, about 200 litres of ethanol will be blended with 2,000 litres of petrol at the outlet’s stock point.
“If a few drops of water fall into the tank the entire 200 litres of ethanol becomes water”, said Dr. Suresh Babu, president of Federation of Residential Welfare Association of Anantapur. He stressed the need to create awareness among vehicle owners and fuel outlets to take appropriate blending measures.
“Our retail outlets are constantly monitoring water dips in petrol tanks to ensure that there is no water presence in the tank”, Virupaksha Reddy from Anantapur said.