Monday, October 02, 2006

India To Become World's No 1 Next-Generation Fuel Producer

Necessity is the mother of invention. The looming oil crisis with fast depleting reserves and uncontrollable rising prices, the human ingenuity has been searching for alternative fuels. In the last 3 to 4 decades, a lot of serious research has already identified some and commercialized a few sources.
Bio-ethanol has reached the realm of commercial viability. Diesel or petroleum is blended with varying amounts of ethanol - a product out of corn for use in automobiles. Similarly, another alternative fuel bio-diesel is the mixture of diesel with Jatropha plants. India is showing, though somewhat belatedly, interest in getting away from conventional fossil fuels to next-generation fuels. The government has identified 400,000 square kilometres (98 million acres) of land where Jatropha can be grown, hoping it will replace 20% of diesel consumption by 2011.
At Haldia, West Bengal which is emerging as a petro-chemical hub, a plant to produce bio-diesel out of Jatropha is being set up at a cost of Rs150 crores ($35 million). The company Emami will need 3,00,000 tonnes of Jatropha to be cultivated over 1,00,000 acres of land. A US company is planning to invest $0.5 billion dollars for a project to manufacture bio-ethanol and bio-diesel using rice, wheat, corn and potato etc.
Mother Earth is indeed bountiful and life can be very beautiful.
Is it not?

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