Agricultural waste to be used for making second generation ethanol
The waste from agriculture is not being utilised on huge scale in adequate manner in India but it doesn’t mean that its scope is also limited. Due to the lack of awareness towards environment and knowledge about the matter, farmers usually end up burning the leftovers of a crop. The Indian scientists backed by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), came up with an effective solution of utilising bio-refinery, to convert agriculture wastes into the value added alcohol, which can be used as clean bio-fuel or mixed in a manner to make spirits.
Ravin Jhunjhunwala, the co-founder of Nutrition Biosystems, mentioned that NASA is calling the black carbon formed by these crop wastes’ burning as lethal enough to harm Himalayan glaciers. Jhunjhunwala explained that the American scientists are confirming this news after looking at the satellite records maintained by NASA. He also supports the fact that it can be alleviated with an ease if the proposed method of converting agricultural waste into clean bio-fuel is followed.
The Science Minister, Harsh Vardhan recently commenced the first ever demonstration of the plant located in the premises of India Glycol Limited in Kashipur. The plant converts, almost, any type of agricultural organic waste into alcohol.
With the manufacturing cost of Rs 40 crores, Mumbai-based Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) provided state-of-the-art technology to the Kashipur plant. Department of Biotechnology supported ICT to set up the demonstration plant with an investment of Rs 35 crore.The secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, K VijayRaghavan said, “This is the most suited technology for India, because in order to make the bio-fuel the feedstock does not compete with food.”
The current method of making alcohol include sugar cane, corn or some food material and their processing, which labelled this range as first generation ethanol. On the other hand, new alcohol made from agricultural wastes will be called second-generation ethanol.