India to replace 10% transport fuels with biofuels in 10 yrs

India to replace 10% transport fuels with biofuels in 10 yrs


New Delhi: India will replace 10% of its transport fuels with environment friendly biofuels in the next 10 years to cut carbon emissions, Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan said on 25 September.

India, which consumed 9.3 million tonnes of petrol and 42.8 million tonnes of diesel in fiscal 2006-07, is currently mixing ethanol extracted from sugarcane in petrol and experimenting with doping diesel with non-edible oils like ones extracted from jathropha.

About 5% ethanol is being doped in petrol presently, he said addressing an International Symposium on Biofuels organised by PetroFed on 25 September.

The quantity of ethanol in petrol would be raised to 10% upon adequate availability while viability of bio-diesel (doping of diesel with non-edible oil) is being tested on pilot basis. “In ten years, 10% of transport fuels will be replaced by biofuels," he said.

He, however, cautioned that mainland cultivable area should not be sacrificed for growing plants like jatropha as it may impact the country’s food security. The success of biofuels programme depended on the price at which they are produced, Srinivasan said. The energy consumption in production of biofuels and cost of production should be lower than fissile fuel cost.

The official said second generation biofuels, those produced from agriculture residue and household garbage, are the next area of research as the world looks at alternatives to cut down fossil fuel consumption.