Biodiesel Current Affairs - 2019

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10 August: World Biofuel Day

Every year 10 August is observed as World Biofuel Day with aim to create awareness about importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels. It is being observed by Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas since 2015.

On 10th August 2019, Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry will organize World Biofuel Day at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

World Biofuel Day

Theme 2019: ‘Production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO)

Objective: To create awareness about importance of non-fossil fuels (or environment-friendly fuels) as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight various efforts made by Government of India in biofuel sector.

Highlights of World Biofuel Day 2019

To facilitate production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO), Oil Marketing Companies shall float an Expression of Interest (EOI) for procurement of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil across 100 cities. Objective behind inviting this EOI is to encourage applicants to set up Biodiesel producing plants from UCO, processing plants and further utilizing existing potential of UCO based Bio-diesel in India.

On this occasion, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) shall release a sticker on RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) and a mobile app to facilitate collection of UCO.

Interactive sessions on 2nd Generation Ethanol & Biodiesel from UCO will also be held, which will focus on issues and hurdles being faced by sector and dwell on how to overcome these hurdles for effective implementation of blending program across India.

What are Biofuels?

They are environment friendly fuels which are derived from renewable bio-mass resources. Biofuels utilization would address global concerns about supression of carbon emissions.

Being eco-friendly they provide a strategic advantage to promote sustainable development. They also supplement conventional energy sources in meeting rapidly increasing demand for transportation fuels.

Benefits: Biofuels use can reduce import dependency on crude oil, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas.  Biofuels programme is also in synergy with Union Government’s initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and enhancing farmers’ income.

Benefits of transformation of UCO:

It will help bring health benefits as there would be no recycling of UCO, infrastructural investment in rural areas, employment generation and cleaner environment with reduced carbon footprint.

The role of biodiesel is not just to replace fossil fuel but to help form a balanced policy. Biofuels are environment-friendly, and their use would address global concerns about the suppression of carbon emissions.

Important Biofuel categories in India

Bioethanol : Ethanol produced from biomass such as sugar containing materials, starch containing materials and cellulosic materials.

Biodiesel : a methyl or ethyl ester of fatty acids produced from non-edible vegetable oils, acid oil, used cooking oil/animal fat and bio-oil.

Advanced biofuels : Fuels which are-

produced from lignocellulosic, non-food crops (i.e. grasses, algae), or industrial waste and residue streams

having low CO2 emission/high GHG reduction and do not compete with food crops for land use. For instance- Fuels like Second Generation (2G) Ethanol, Drop-in fuels, algae based 3G biofuels, bio-CNG, bio-methanol, Di Methyl Ether (DME) bio-hydrogen, drop in fuels with MSW as the source / feedstock material

Drop-in fuels : Any liquid fuel produced from Biomass, agri-residues, wastes such as Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW), Plastic wastes, Industrial wastes etc .

Bio-CNG: it is a purified form of bio-Gas whose energy potential and composition is similar to that of fossil based natural gas.

FSSAI launches RUCO initiative to collect, convert used cooking oil into biofuel

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative to enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel. Under this initiative, 64 companies at 101 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil.

Key Facts

The initiative was launched nearly month after FSSAI notified standards for used cooking oil. According to FSSAI regulations, maximum permissible limits for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) have been set at 25%, beyond which the cooking oil is unsafe for consumption. Beside this, FSSAI is also working in partnership with Biodiesel Association of India (BAI) and food industry to ensure effective compliance of used cooking oil regulations.

Background

According to FSSAI, India has potential to recover 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for production of biodiesel by 2022 through co-ordinated action. Currently, biodiesel produced from used cooking oil is very small, but robust ecosystem for conversion and collection is rapidly growing in India and soon it will reach sizable scale. FSSAI is also looking at introducing regulations to ensure that companies using large quantities of cooking oil hand it over to registered collecting agencies to convert it into biofuel.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

FSSAI is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health in India through regulation and supervision of food safety. It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and operates under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.