Biofuels have been the most debated energy source over the last decade across the globe. Since India is heavily dependent on fuel imports, bioenergy based fuels were touted as great local substitutes that can ensure India’s energy independence. Despite the hype, the implementation of large projects has been hard to realize.
After many years of stagnation, there is now renewed hope of revival of the Indian biofuels market. The central government is putting serious efforts on encouraging startups to create indigenous technology to extract biofuels for locally available biomass. In this regard, Bioenergy Urja Utsav was organized by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) in association with Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Agriculture and National Yuva Cooperative Society in July 2017 in Pune. It was a two-day integrated trade expo and conference held in the ‘mela’ format with multiple activities happening simultaneously.
The Bioenergy Urja Utsav event was aimed at bringing focus on the various initiatives undertaken by the government in the bioenergy sector for developing an inclusive national policy and mainstreaming of such sustainable technologies. This event was also aimed at creating awareness among the masses about biofuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, biogas, biomass gasifiers, algae, etc., and their numerous economic and environmental benefits.
Y. B. Ramakrishna, Chairman of the Working Group on Biofuels, MoPNG stated that this event was a massive success due to overwhelming participation from various research institutes, government organizations, private companies, federations, and individuals. Technical sessions and workshops were conducted for educating students, farmers, entrepreneurs, investors through information kiosks. Ramakrishna expected this enthusiasm will continue due to various programs for the World Bio Fuel Day as well.
Presentations were made by the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science and Karnataka State Council for Science & Technology about the various ongoing research projects on bioenergy, biomass, thermochemical conversions, Biofuel Cell and other bio-energy success stories.
Here are some of the indigenous and foreign technological innovations in the Bioenergy sector that were showcased at the Bioenergy-Urja Utsav trade exhibition:
Praj Industries is a Pune-based process & project engineering company that adds significant value to bio-ethanol facilities, zero liquid discharge, hi-purity water & hygienic process plants and range of bioenergy products. The company exhibited its main contribution in generating energy from waste and enhancing the value of biogas by using biogas scrubbing system which ensures zero effluent generation.
Indian Oil Corporation
Indian Oil Corporation presented some of its noteworthy research and development activities in bio-energy, alternative energy and solar energy. Indian Oil’s R&D is focusing on Bioremediation of hydrocarbon waste from various sources such as oily sludge from crude oil, highly aromatic waste; electro-biocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide into fuels and monitoring microbiologically influenced corrosion in the oil industry.
HPCL has been implementing the Ethanol Blended Petrol program for more than 15 years under the directions of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. HPCL has established HPCL Biofuels Limited (HBL), which has successfully built integrated plants at Sugauli & Lauriya and also started commercial production of ethanol blended petrol.
Novozymes has developed various sustainable solutions based on bio-innovation, which complement traditional thinking in manufacturing processes and applications with the help of industrial biotechnology. They have provided solutions in various sectors like bioenergy, forest products, household care, wastewater solutions, etc.
H2e Power has found solutions to provide 24/7 clean, green, reliable & affordable energy for all by providing power storage solutions to residential, agriculture and commercial facilities. H2e is helping to usher in a clean & green revolution in energy through its proprietary Fuel Cell Generator solution that uses various storage technologies such as Solid Oxide Fuel Cell and Solid Oxide Electrolyser Cell.
VayuGrid has helped transform barren/fallow lands into organized, managed bioenergy plantation with its product VayuSap, elite Pongamia sapling. VayuGrid enables telecom tower operators and mass transportation companies, including railways to optimize and control their energy costs through an India-based energy solution that is both sustainable and renewable.
Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL) introduced effective solutions of installing and fitting CNG kits for two-wheelers. These CNG kits are being manufactured by Ituk, while MNGL is establishing piped natural gas for commercial customers as it is more safe, economical, convenient and eco friendly.
Other participants in the exhibition were Bureau of Indian Standards, Bharat Petroleum, BAIF, BrioEnergy, Shirke Energy, Chhattisgarh Biofuel Development Authority, etc., which exhibited various other eco-friendly solutions like Cookstoves, eco-chulla (by EcoSense), Smokeless Biomass Gasifier Stove and Biomass Boilers.