New bio­fuel pol­icy ap­proved re­cently

Chemical Industry Digest - - News & Views -

The

Na­tional Bio­fuel Pol­icy 2018 ap­proved by the gov­ern­ment has the po­ten­tial to bring in mul­ti­crore pri­vate in­vest­ment in sec­ond gen­er­a­tion ethanol pro­duc­tion. Sec­ond gen­er­a­tion ethanol refers to al­co­hol gen­er­ated from un­con- ven­tional raw ma­te­rial such as agro waste.

As an in­di­ca­tion of the po­ten­tial, the gov­ern­ment hopes to bring in 20 per­cent ethanol-blended au­to­mo­bile fuel by 2020. At the tar­geted 5 per­cent blend­ing now, about 50 plants of one crore litre a day will be needed. This will in­volve in­vest­ment of over ` 35,000 crore.

In In­dia, tra­di­tion­ally, ethanol is pro­duced by dis­til­leries linked to sugar mills. They use mo­lasses gen­er­ated as a byprod­uct of sugar pro­duc­tion as a raw ma­te­rial. A ma­jor ben­e­fit of us­ing agro waste for eth- anol pro­duc­tion is that it will ad­dress the prob­lem of air pol­lu­tion caused by burn­ing of agri­cul­ture waste. The dozen units planned by Oil Mar­ket­ing Com­pany’s (OMC) alone will use about 18-20 lakh tonnes of agro waste an­nu­ally.

Praj In­dus­tries, which has de­vel­oped tech­nol­ogy in-house, is ex­e­cut­ing two pro­jects, one in Odisha for BPCL and another at Pa­ni­pat for IOC. Th­ese will use rice straw as raw ma­te­rial. Dis­cus­sions are on with HPCL, for a unit in Ut­tar Pradesh.

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