Indian researchers develop bagasse-based methanol for tractor fuel
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.