Saturday, December 19, 2009

Development of Unconventional Petroleum Resources

Biofuels, particularly bio-ethanol and bio-diesel have been identified as non-conventional renewable fuels for supplementing /substituting petroleum in India. In addition, hydrogen is also recognized as the fuel for the future.

A number of initiatives have been taken by the Government for promotion and use of bio-fuels for supplementing petrol and diesel. The initiatives include research, development and demonstration activities on development of superior genotypes of Jatropha and Pongamia for production of bio-diesel and production of ethanol from lignocellulosic materials. Jatropha and Pongamia are being cultivated in about 9 lakh hectares of wasteland by nine states for production of biodiesel. Blending of ethanol with petrol has been made mandatory in 20 States and 4 Union Territories. Procurement price of Rs. 26.50 per litre for bio-diesel and Rs. 21.50 per litre for ethanol have been fixed. A National Policy on Biofuels has been prepared.

The Government is also implementing a broad based research, development and demonstration programme on hydrogen production, its storage and utilization as an alternative fuel for transport and decentralized power generation applications through various academic, research organizations and industry. As a result of these efforts, laboratory scale prototypes of hydrogen operated motorcycles, three-wheelers, small generators and some fuel cell based systems have been developed and demonstrated. A project for use of Hydrogen - Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG) blends as fuel for automotive vehicles is under implementation through the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, New Delhi; R&D Centre of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), Faridabad and five automobile manufacturers. Besides, IOCL has set up two hydrogen production and dispensing stations, one each at Faridabad in Haryana and at Dwarka in New Delhi. These stations are presently being used for providing H-CNG fuel for some demonstration and test vehicles.

This information was given by Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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