In­dian re­searchers de­velop bagasse-based methanol for trac­tor fuel

Chemical Industry Digest - - Renewables -

In In­dia, re­searchers are look­ing to sug­ar­cane bagasse to pro­duce methanol, rather than ethanol that could be used to power trac­tors. Up­take of the tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped by the Na­tional Cen­tre for Com­bus­tion Re­search and Devel­op­ment could re­duce trac­tor fos­sil fuel im­ports by 15% and won’t cre­ate com­pe­ti­tion with the al­co­hol in­dus­try as ethanol does. Cur­rently re­searchers are look­ing at how to con­vert the ex­ist­ing trac­tor fleet so they can run on methanol while the in­sti­tute’s par­ent In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Madras is in talks with sugar pro­duc­ers re­gard­ing demos and adop­tion.

The use of methanol will soon be pro­moted as a fuel for ship­ping in the place of diesel, which could help ad­dress the prob­lem of pol­lu­tion in the ship­ping in­dus­try, Union Min­is­ter of Ship­ping and Wa­ter­ways Nitin Gad­kari said.

Speak­ing at an event at In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Madras (IIT-M), where he laid the foun­da­tion stone for a na­tional tech­nol­ogy cen­tre to mod­ernise In­dia’s ports and fast track wa­ter­ways, he said that Niti Aayog had al­ready un­der­taken re­search on methanol and fur­ther tech­no­log­i­cal re­search from in­sti­tu­tions, such as IIT-M, on this could help en­sure that In­dia man­u­fac­tured its own methanol for in­dus­trial use.

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