Consider the following statements with respect to the term "Flex-Fuels" which were recently making news:

  1. Flex fuels are prepared from animal fats or vegetable oils.
  2. Flex fuels reduce sulphur dioxide, lead and zinc emissions.
  3. Flex fuels are less volatile and have lower octane rating than petrol.

Which of the above is / are correct statements?

Answer: [C] Only 2

First statement is incorrect because bio-diesel is prepared from renewable resources such as animal fats or vegetable oils. But only diesel engines can run on biodiesel and not all engines can cope with it. Flex fuel involves bio-ethanol and petrol, or a blend of both. Ethanol is largely seen as a environmentally friendly alternative to petrol. It is made from the fermentation of crops such as sugarcane in Brazil and soybean in the US. Second statement is correct because flex fuels reduce emission of sulphur dioxide, lead and zinc depending upon blending. Third statement is incorrect because flex fuels are less volatile, but have higher octane ratings than petroleum. Also, note that E-85 is a flex fuel, which has 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent petrol blending. Ethanol is produced from cane molasses, a by-product of the sugar production process. So, at present, the most obvious and reliable source of bio-ethanol in India is sugarcane. With India being the world’s second largest sugar market, government wishes to shift to flex fuels, with minimum 10 per cent blending. Furthermore, flex-fuel and biofuels in general, are promoted because they are cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module