Cheaper, quicker, pollution free—IIT Kharagpur gears up to redefine biofuel


A research team from the IIT Kharagpur has built a technology that can make biofuel manufacturing cheaper, quicker and free of pollution. The 'soil-to-soil' manufacturing technology developed at the P.K. Sinha Centre for Bioenergy at IIT Kharagpur, is in the process of being patented. According to the researchers, the process involved in the conversion is the main culprit contributing to polluting the environment. An often mentioned incentive for using biodiesel is its capacity to lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to those of fossil fuels, reports CFR.

Source- IIT Kharagpur

The production of bioethanol can be a natural process which includes lignocellulosic components and can be treated chemically or physicochemically. Rintu Banerjee, Professor at Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering at the P.K. Sinha Centre for Bioenergy said to the reporters at IANS that,

We have replaced this chemical treatment with enzymes which degrade the lignin specifically, thereby making the manufacturing process pollution-free. Also unlike the chemical treatment, here the waste product is pollution-free and hence utilising the residual biomass to make organic fertiliser is possible.

The 'National Policy on Biofuels' targeted 20 percent blending of biofuel with petrol by 2017. This project is funded by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. With the government expecting the bio-fuel business in India to touch Rs 50,000 crore by 2022, this new green technology with lesser manufacturing cost and time could become a game changer, the researchers said.

The technique that we are suggesting will ensure relatively quicker production of bio-fuel and ensuring that the process is completely green, not creating any secondary pollution. This, we feel can change the future of bio-fuel manufacturing in India and make it more cost effective, said Banerjee.

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