FIRST BIO­FUEL POW­ERED FLIGHT IN IN­DIA

‘Bio­fuel Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­oped In­dige­nously by CSIR will be a Game Changer.’ —Dr Harsh Vard­han, Union Min­is­ter of Science & Tech­nol­ogy

SP's Airbuz - - Front Page - —By B.K. Pandey

“HAPPY THAT SPICEJET IS SET­TING A PRECE­DENT BY EX­PLOR­ING BIO JETFUEL-POW­ERED AE­RIAL OP­ER­A­TIONS US­ING A BLEND OF 75% OF AVI­A­TION TUR­BINE FUEL (ATF) & 25% OF BIO JET FUEL. THIS MAY RE­DUCE CAR­BON EMIS­SIONS BY OVER 15%. A 100% BIO JET FUEL US­AGE WILL RE­DUCE 60-70% OF CAR­BON EMIS­SION.”

—SURESH PRABHU, UNION MIN­IS­TER FOR CIVIL AVI­A­TION TWEETS @SURESHPPRABHU ON AU­GUST 27

ON AU­GUST 27 THIS year, a his­toric flight pow­ered by in­dige­nously pro­duced avi­a­tion bio­fuel was flagged off from Jolly Grant Air­port at Dehradun by the Chief Min­is­ter of Ut­tarak­hand, Triven­dra Singh Rawat. The avi­a­tion bio­fuel was de­vel­oped by the In­dian In­sti­tute of Petroleum (IIP), a lab­o­ra­tory un­der the Coun­cil of Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search (CSIR), that is ded­i­cated to R&D in the hy­dro­car­bon sec­tor.

The SpiceJet flight by the lat­est gen­er­a­tion Q400 air­craft was re­ceived at Delhi air­port by Union Min­is­ters Nitin Gad­kari, Dr Harsh Vard­han, Dhar­men­dra Prad­han, Suresh Prabhu and Min­is­ter of State for Civil Avi­a­tion Jayant Sinha.

On the oc­ca­sion, Dr Harsh Vard­han, Min­is­ter, S&T and Vice Pres­i­dent, CSIR said that it was a his­toric day and the bio­fuel tech­nol­ogy is go­ing to be a game-changer as the bio­jet fuel is Green­house Gas neu­tral, car­bon neu­tral, re­duces air pol­lu­tion and above all, it would bring down im­port bill of crude oil. “Com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of bio­fuel prom­ises large-scale em­ploy­ment av­enues both in the for­mal and in­for­mal sec­tors”, said Dr Harsh Vard­han.

The gen­e­sis of this de­vel­op­ment goes back sev­eral years to an Indo-Cana­dian project from 2010 to 2013 in­volv­ing CSIR-IIP, In­dian Oil, Hin­dus­tan Petroleum, IIT Kan­pur and IISc Ban­ga­lore, in which re­search was di­rected to­wards the pro­duc­tion of bio-avi­a­tion fuel by CSIR-IIP from ja­t­ropha oil and its eval­u­a­tion un­der var­i­ous con­di­tions, cul­mi­nat­ing in a suc­cess­ful on an air­craft en­gine by Pratt and Whit­ney in Canada.

SpiceJet – as the lead or­gan­i­sa­tion for the demon­stra­tion flight and Ch­hat­tis­garh Bio­fuel De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, the sup­plier of the ja­t­ropha oil for the flight, sourced from over 500 farm­ers, re­ceived con­sid­er­able pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory sup­port from the MOPNG Work­ing Group on Bio­fu­els and the Di­rec­tor- ate Gen­eral Civil Avi­a­tion (DGCA) in mak­ing this flight hap­pen.

With this suc­cess­ful maiden flight, In­dia joins the ex­clu­sive club of na­tions us­ing bio­fuel in avi­a­tion. The use of bio­fuel, apart from re­duc­ing Green­house Gas emis­sions by about 15 per cent and sul­fur ox­ides (SOx) emis­sions by over 99 per cent, is ex­pected to pro­vide indige­nous jet fuel sup­ply se­cu­rity, pos­si­ble cost sav­ings as feed­stock avail­abil­ity at farm level scales up, su­pe­rior en­gine per­for­mance and re­duced main­te­nance cost for the air­line op­er­a­tors.

SpiceJet’s 78-seater air­craft Bom­bardier Q400 air­craft, par­tially us­ing bio­jet fuel, took off from Dehradun and landed at IGI Delhi

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