Green fuel

Biodiesel on the anvil in India

Published: Tuesday 15 October 2002

india is all set to introduce the low-cost, ecofriendly 'biodiesel' as an answer to expensive and polluting fuels. The Union minister of state for rural development, Annasaheb M K Patil, recently announced that biodiesel -- made from natural and renewable sources such as soyabean, rapeseed, peanuts and other vegetable oils -- will be launched at Rs 14.50 per litre.

The fuel can be made from both edible and non-edible oils. The Union government is laying stress on non-edible oils as it is already importing around 4.4 million tonnes of edible oils per year. Biodiesel is less polluting than conventional diesel as it reduces emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

A study conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, which was headed by H B Mathur, found that the best engine performance and less smoke emissions are achieved when conventional diesel is blended with 20 per cent biodiesel.

Sources say that the government's newfound interest in the fuel is propelled by the Swadeshi Jagaran Foundation's endorsement of the product as an indigenous and safe alternative to other fuels.

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