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KEYWORDS-transerterification, Jatropha, ecofriendly, alternative, blending, cleaner.
High price and rapid consumption of fossil fuels has posed a threat to their extinction. This problem can be circumvented by biodiesel. This ecofriendly fuel has the potential to replace diesel and gives lower carbon footprint.Moreover cultivation of oil crops required for its production would lead to the generation of extra revenue for the agricultural community. This paper focuses on India’s potential to produce biodiesel from oil crops and several ways to bring the biodiesel in the daily life to reduce the dependency of India on import of crude oil and to lessen the burden from the pockets of a common man.
India has about 0.4 % of the total oil reserves and it is the fifth highest consumer of energyas well.So it mainly had to import the crude oil to fulfill needs. These non-renewable energy sources will continue to serve only for few years due to scarcity and high price. So there comes a need to switch to cleaner, reliable and cheaper fuels which would not only create the ecofriendly environment but would also increase the Gross Development Product of nation. Use of biodiesel is the best method so far to this major problem.
Biodiesel is made from the renewable sources like animal fats and vegetable oil. In India biodiesel is mainly prepared from non-edible oil crops like Jatropha, Pongamia etc. It is similar to diesel. Biodiesel can be used fully or blended in any proportion with diesel to form a reliable biodiesel blend. B20 blend means 20% biodiesel is mixed with 80% of diesel. By saving such small amount of diesel would also give profit in long run. Biodiesel can turn out to be the successful replacement of diesel.
Biodiesel made from Jatropha and Pongamia are considered to be the best substitute for diesel. Biodiesel is a long chain of carbon atoms, with hydrogen atoms and an ester functional group at the end.
Biodiesel is quite similar to petro diesel in characteristics. It provides adequate power and torque.Also there is no need for major change in the design of engine for biodiesel. The lubricating property of biodiesel is much more significant than diesel fuel.
Sno Property Diesel Biodiesel
1 Flash Point (°C ) 60 >140
2 Pour Point 5-18 16
3 Cetane Number 45 58-63
4 Carbon Residue (% mass) 0.35 <0.06
5 Calorific Value (Kcal/kg) 10700 9600
6 Sulphur Content (% mass) 0.25 290
8 Viscosity (40°C cSt ) 1.8-5 4.5-4.8
9 Density (15°C Kg/m3) 883 874
1. Biodiesel is a cleaner fuel and can burn upto 70% cleaner with 50% lower carbon monoxide, 45% lower particulate matter and 93% lower emission of total hydrocarbon than the standard diesel.
2. It is biodegradable so leads to establishment of sustainable environment reducing the greenhouse effect.
3. Biodiesel is non-toxic and quickly degrades in the environment.
Production of biodiesel can be done on small scale unit as well with cheaper equipment. The whole process is simple and gives reliable products.
By 3 ways ester can be produce from vegetable oil.
1. Transesterification of the oil with alcohol in presence of base (Catalyst- Base).
2. Conversion of oil to fatty acids and then using acid catalysis to esters.
3. Esterification of the oil with methanol using acid catalyst.
NOTE- Among the above three methods, base catalyzed reaction is preferred for producing biodiesel because of following reasons-
1. Rate of conversion to ester is high (98%) with less reaction time and side reactions.
2. No intermediate steps.
3. Low pressure (20psi) and low temperature (150 F) is required in the process.
Biodiesel is obtained from the transesterification reaction. Fatty acid is converted to biodiesel with the help of methanol in the presence of catalyst (NaOH or KOH) which breaks the bonds in the structure of fatty acid and forms glycerol. Viscosity of the end product is reduced by this process.
NOTE- But to obtain better quality of biodiesel, several procedure is also followed. The most important step is to remove the traces of water. If it is not removed then soap formation will takes place as water will react with the vegetable oil. This soap provides hindrance after the transesterification reaction and prevents the separation of biodiesel from the catalyst, left over methanol and the glycerol byproduct.
India has a very vast potential for power generation through renewable sources of energy. Biodiesel is mainly prepared from non-edible oils. Every year India produces 1.2 million tons of tree born non-edible seeds of oil like Jatropha, Pongamia , neem etc. India has the best suitable climate and rainfall for these crops and even the cheap labors for cultivation but still the production of biodiesel is not upto the mark. In India these are the only hope for the future of biodiesel. Similar to European Standard EN-14214 and American Standard ASTM D-6751 for Bio-diesel (B 100), The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) developed a standard IS-15607 to improve the quality of biodiesel.
Several states are contributing in the biodiesel production. For example- In 150,000 hectares of land, Tamil Nadu government planned a project for growing Jatropha. Forest Department will provide necessary assistance to the farmers involved in the cultivation. Chhattisgarh has favorable climate for growing bio fuel crops. In the year 2005, Chhattisgarh launched bio fuel program, Chhattisgarh Biofuel Development Authority (CBDA). It has planned to provide Minimum Support Price of Rs 6/kg for Pongamia seeds and Rs 6.5/kg for Jatropha.
Sno Scientific Name Local name Annual Productivity ( Tons )
1 Pongamia Pinnata Karanja 130,000
2 Jatropa Curcas Ratanjyot 45,000
3 Azadirachtaindica Neem 1,10,000
4 Modhucaindica Mahua 1,95,000
5 Shorearobusta Sal 1,80,000
In December 2009, The National Bio Fuel Policy formed by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy came into existence. Its policies involve development of procedure and appropriate test methods for the biofuels. ‘National Biofuel Coordination Committee’ will decide the import to meet the needs and export would only be allowed if the domestic needs are fulfilled.
1. Its main objective is to establish the sufficient amount of biofuel readily available in the market to meet the growing demands of people. By 2017, 20% blending of biofuels is proposed.
2. Their focus was to use the wastelands and non-forests lands for the cultivation of non-edible oil seeds.
3. To generate employment, increase production of crops for production of biodiesel, encourages research and development and various policies in the direction of biodiesel.
4. Provides the farmer with Minimum Support Price for oilseeds with provision for its periodic revision and several other perks.
1. In the current scenario farmers do not earn much profit on growing such crops. To resolve these issues The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry decided to subsidize bioethanol and biodiesel. The ministry proposed the subsidy to be set at Rs 5000 per liter for biodiesel (earlier it was Rs 1500 per liter).
2. Almost all the State governments have started their own organizations to produce biodiesel.
3. It is proposed that 3.41 million kiloliters of biodiesel and .0147 kilolitres of bioethanol be mixed in diesel. This proposal is yet to be approved.
4. In 2013 in order to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels government made to mix 10 % biodiesel with 90 % fuel.
Sno Government Policies Their work
1 The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources Discovers and promote the alternative ecofriendly energy source.
2 The Ministry of Water Resources Provide irrigation faculties to grow crops
3 Indian Institute of Petroleum Evolves an alternate fuel for petroleum
4 The Ministry of Rural Department To promote Jatropha plantations on wastelands.
5 The Ministry of Agriculture Promotes development and research work for biofuel crop production.
Indian Railway is the largest consumer of diesel in our country. Even a very small reduction in diesel consumption using biodiesel blending will save a lot of money. So it has taken the initiative to use cleaner and cheaper forms of energy. In the Railway Budget of 2014-15, it was decided that the 5% of the total diesel used will be biodiesel. Even Indian Railways Organization for Alternative Fuels has been set up to promote eco-friendly fuels. Scientists at the CSIR- Indian Institute of Petroleum developed new method to produce biodiesel which will be used by Indian Railways to set up new plants for biodiesel.
Its centralized organized committee is involved in the plantation of Jatropha and already planted 2 crore plants. In 2002, Shatabadi express was run on 5% blend of biodiesel from Delhi to Amritsar.
1. Trail run biodiesel blend is frequently carried out in buses in Rewari, Haryana and Mumbai.
2. In Kolam (SouthernIndia) few years back there was no proper electricity, telephone etc. In 2002 people were taught how to produce electricity using oil seeds and as a result the village is now well developed with proper facilities of electricity and other technologies.
3. The biodiesel driven electric generators are also used to irrigate lands in some of the rural areas.
4. Use of biodiesel in cars is adopted by various automakers like Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., Ashok Leyland etc.
1. India is still not equipped with the advanced technology and also lack in funds. Majority of the people are unaware of this non-conventional source of energy. Some want to remain stick to the use of petroleum fuel due to lack of knowledge. As a result India lacks in the production of biodiesel.
2. In India only limited amount of land is available for farming. Majorly crops are grown on it for the purpose of food and nutrition needs. Because of this only few vegetable oil crops are available for biodiesel. This creates the fight ‘fuel versus food’.
3. Jatropha seeds and oil is toxic in nature. It may harm the producers.
4. If mono-culture Jatropha is promoted productivity of land would get degraded and this could be a threat to biodiversity.
5. Biodiesel industry faces the challenge of quality control. Variation in the properties of biodiesel occurs due to its preparation from different crops. For e.g. —
 Biodiesel prepared from soyabean oil has better cold flow properties than those prepared from palm oil.
 Oxidative property of biodiesel greatly varies from original diesel. It is proportional to temperature. In summers biodiesel deteriorates quickly due to increase oxidation and thus its storage becomes an issue.
6. Biodiesel specifications and testing standards may vary. The first reason for this is that some specifications are based according to the availability of crops in that particular area and second is that for different diesel engines there are different standards.
1. The total length of Railway network is about 65000km. Area surrounding the tracks can be efficiently used.Oil seed crops can be planted along both sides of railway tracks for cultivation.
2. In India there is approximately 124.7 million hectare of waste land. With the proper methods this unproductive land can be utilized in growing biofuel crops.
3. To lessen the effect of toxicity of Jatropha, detoxification can be done regularly.
4. Promoting multiple species and intercropping may preserve biodiversity.
5. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) should update existing standards as well as should develop new standards and proper checking should be done on the quality of biodiesel by the concerned authority.
6. More and more Cooperative firms and NGOs should be formed to conduct activities regarding biodiesel, train biodiesel producers and encouraging people to adopt this.
7. More production unit means more employment opportunities and this would attract people towards it.
Several countries are still struggling with the problem of land which can potentially be used for the cultivation of biofuel crops. On the other hand India with the suitable climate and sufficient land has advantage over the others. The law of supply and demand states that if only few farmers produce these crops the cost of biodiesel will automatically rise. It may take time to change the mindset of farmers to switch to such crops.So in the beginning development of biodiesel would face problems but as soon as its production gains momentum and fix its root in various parts of country, this would convert into a profitable business. . Apart from this it is equally important to develop technologies and adequate production units to produce biodiesel on a large scale. Many organizations are doing research for the development of fuel. Current status shows that the initiatives have not yielded satisfactory results and thus the policies need to be revised. India is surely moving in the correct direction. Increasing efforts regarding implementation of proper plans will slowly lead India to be a major producer of biodiesel.
1. Bala Bhaskar,“ Energy Security and Economic Development in India”, The Energy and resource Institutes (TERI). TERI Press, New Delhi, 2013, ISBN No- 978-81-7993-460-9.
2. Simon Gmunder, Reena Singh, Stephen Pfister, Alok Adheloya, Riner Zah, “Environmental Impacts of Jatropa curcas Biodiesel in India”, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Volume 2012, ARTICLE ID 623070, 10 pages.
3. Gaurav Dwivedi,Siddharth Jain, Mahendra Pal Sharma, “Pongamia as a Source of Biodiesel in India, Smart Grid and Renewable Energy”, Published online 2011,184-189.
4. Satish Kumar Mehla, “Biodiesel Production Technologies”, Pointer Publishers,2007, ISBN- 9788171325177.
5. Sharachchandra Lele, Giorgos Kallis, Pere-Ariza-Montobbio, Joan Martinez-Alier,“The political ecology of Jatropha plantations for biodiesel in Tamil Nadu,India”, The Journal of Peasant Studies, Volume 37, Issue 4, 2010, pages 875-897.
6. Alok adholeya, Pradeep Kumar Dadhich, “Production and technology of Biodiesel: Seeding a change”, TERI Press, The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi,2008, ISBN No- 978-81-7993-157-8.
7. Dr. Gadepalli Ravi Kiran Sastry,“ Biodiesel: Bio-degradable Alternative Fuel for Diesel Engines”, Readworthy Publications (P) Ltd, New Delhi. 2008, ISBN No- 13:978-93-5018-090-7.
8. S Biswas, N Kaushik, G Srgyikanth, “Biodiesel: Technology and Business Opportunities: An Insight ”, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi.

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