Scientists at IIT Kharagpur Develop New Technology to Manufacture Biofuel

Scientists at IIT Kharagpur has come up with a new technology known as ‘soil-to-soil’ manufacturing technology  for manufacturing cheaper, quicker and pollution-free. The technology is in the process of being patented.

Biofuels are fuels which are in some way derived from biomass. The term covers solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases and also denotes Biodiesel, Bio alcohol and bio-gasoline.

Salient Highlights

The new technology makes use of natural resources to extract gaseous and liquid biofuel and then converts the wastes into bio fertilizer. At present 2gm of bioethanol can be manufactured from various naturally available ligno-cellulosic components. However, this process requires chemical treatment that results in polluting the environment. Lignocellulose refers to biomass.

The new technology has replaced this chemical treatment with enzymes which degrade the lignin thereby making the manufacturing process totally pollution free. Lignins are complex organic polymer deposited in the cell walls of  plants. In this process, the residual biomass can be used as organic fertilizer.

The Project is funded  by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.  

The scientists used corn, sugarcane plants, the waste part of paddy straw, bamboo, banana plant, pineapple and cotton plants, kans grass (kassh phool), castor plant etc to produce biofuel.

Significance

The National Policy on Biofuels had set the target at 20% blending of biofuel with petrol by 2017. It is estimated that the biofuel business in India will touch Rs50,000 crore by 2022. At this backdrop, the new green technology can become a game changer.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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