is an eco-friendly, alternative diesel fuel prepared from domestic
renewable resources i.e. vegetable oils (edible
or non-edible oil) and animal fats. These natural oils and fats
are made up mainly of triglycerides. These triglycerides show
striking similarity to petroleum derived diesel and are called "bio-diesel".
As India is deficient in edible oils, non-edible oil may be raw
material of choice for producing bio diesel.
Conscious of the advantages, Government of India is now working
towards evolving a national policy on bio-fuels as environmentally
friendly energy source to reduce dependence on import of diesel.
Further, Government of India has already established the National
Hydrogen Energy Board to push the development of alternative fuel.
The main objective of this Board is to coordinate and develop
national hydrogen energy roadmap with focus on development of
alternative fuel for transport.
22.214.171.124 Technical Feasibility
In India, only 57% arable land is used intensively. Most of the area
is cultivated during the monsoon. During the fallow period the land
may be utilized for the oilseed crop. Moreover, the farming provides
partial employment to considerably large size of rural population.
This population is equivalent to the population of USA. So, growing
plantations meant for bio-diesel can reduce both the problem of fallow
lands as well as unemployment.
126.96.36.199 Sources of Bio-Diesel
All trees bearing oilseeds, both edible and non-edible have the potential
to be a source of bio-diesel. Among edible oilseeds soybean, sunflower,
mustard, etc. are sources of bio-diesel. But, the edible oilseeds can't
be used for bio-diesel production in most developing countries, and
more particular in the South Asian countries as indigenous production
not meet the current demand. Thus, the South Asian countries should
focus on non-edible oils like Jatropha curcas, Pongemia pinnata,
indica (neem), etc. Among non-edible oilseeds plants, Jatropha curcas
has been identified as the most suitable seed for India.
Viewing non-edible oil available from Jatropha curcas and its presence
throughout the country, its capacity to rehabilitate degraded or dry
lands, and its capacity to improve land's water retention capacity,
Jatropha curcas is considered additionally suitable for up-gradation
of land resources.
Presently, in some of the Indian villages, farmers are extracting oil
from Jatropha curcas. After settling and decanting they are mixing
the filtered oil with diesel fuel. So far the farmers have not observed
damage to their farm machineries running on fuel mixed with bio-diesel.
Oil content in Jatropha curcas is 35-40%.
The oil needs to be converted to bio-diesel through a chemical reaction
called as ‘trans-esterification’. This reaction is relatively
simple and does not require any exotic material. Indian Oil Corporation
(R&D) has been using a laboratory scale plant of 100 kg/day capacity
for trans-esterification; designing of larger capacity plants is in the
offing. These large plants are useful for centralized production of bio-diesel.
Production of bio-diesel in smaller plants (of capacity of 5-20 kg/day)
may also be started in villages.
From the point of view of air emissions the bio-diesel is superior
to petro-diesel. It can provide energy security to remote and rural
It has good potential for employment generation also. Advantage of
Jatropha curcas is that it is a widely occurring species. It grows
all over India in variety of agro-climatic conditions. It can be grown
in arid zones (20 cm rainfall) as well as in higher rainfall zones
and even on the lands with thin soil cover. Its plantation can be taken
as quick yielding even in adverse land situations viz. degraded and
barren lands under forest or non-forest use, dry and drought prone
lands and alkaline soils. It grows as a tree up to the height of 3-5
m. It is a good plantation for eco-restoration of all types of wastelands.
Realizing the urgency and sheer need of producing bio-diesel, the Govt.
of India has constituted National Oil Seed & Vegetable Oil Development
Board (NOVOD). Potential demand of petro-diesel by 2006-07 is 52 MMT
and by 2011-12 it will increase to 67 MMT. By 2011-12, for 20% blend
with petro-diesel the likely demand will be 13.4 MMT. To meet the requirement
of 2.6 MMT of bio-diesel, plantation of Jatropha should be done on 2.2-2.6
million ha area of land. 11.2 - 13.4 million ha of land should be covered
by year 2011-12 for 20% bio-diesel blending.
National Oilseed and Vegetable Oil Development Board (NOVOD) is making
the following efforts:
188.8.131.52 Indian States that promoted Bio-diesel considerably
Uttaranchal: The Uttaranchal Bio-fuel Board (UBB) has been constituted
as a nodal agency for bio-diesel promotion in the state. The board
has undertaken Jatropha plantation in an area of 1 lakh hectare. UBB
has established Jatropha Gene Bank to preserve high yielding seed varieties
and plans to produce 100 million liters of bio-diesel.
Andhra Pradesh: Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) has encouraged Jatropha
plantation in 10 rain shadow districts of AP. Task force for it has been
constituted at district and state level. GoAP proposed Jatropha cultivation
in 15 lakh acres in next 4 years.
Chhattisgarh: 6 lakh saplings of Jatropha have been planted with the
involvement of State's Forest, Agriculture, Panchayat and Rural Development
Departments. The state has the target to cover 1 million ha of land under
Jatropha plantation. Ten reputed bio-diesel companies, including the
UK-based D1 Oils, have offered to set up Jatropha oil-extraction units
and to buy the produce from farmers in Chhattisgarh. Some o the Indian
Companies like Indian Oil, Indian Railways and Hindustan Petroleum are
also in the process of signing MoU with the state government.
Haryana: Farmers in Haryana have formed NGOs and cooperatives for promotion
of Jatropha plantation. These NGOs and cooperatives are raising nurseries
for Jatropha plantation and supplying saplings to others for further
cultivation. They have been blending directly Jatropha oil into diesel
fuel and successfully using this blend in tractors & diesel engines
without any problem.
Rajasthan, MP, Orissa and other states: Apart from NGOs and state Government,
the private companies are also promoting Jatropha cultivation by organizing
practical demonstration, raising nursery, supplying seeds, seedlings
and cuttings to farmers in their respective areas of operations.