Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways inaugurated India’s first biorefinery plant that produces ethanol from a variety of biomass in Pune on 7 May 2017.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari stated that such projects will help stage a great revolution in India’s agriculture sector. The project is located at Rahu, a village in Daund Taluka in Pune District of Maharashtra.
The newly set up plant is capable of producing one million litres of ethanol per annum by processing a variety of agricultural residue including rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, cane trash, corn cobs with superior product yields.
What is a Biorefinery?
It is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, heat, and value-added chemicals from biomass.
The concept is similar to today's petroleum refinery, which produces multiple fuels and products from petroleum.
Typical applications of Biorefinery are in the production of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides.
• Biofuel (fuels derived from biomass) is cost‐effective and pollution‐free.
• The most common Biofuel crops include Corn, Rapeseed/Canola, Sugarcane, Palm Oil, Jatropha, Soyabean, Cottonseed, Sunflower seeds, Wheat, Sugarbeet, Cassava, Algae, Coconut, Jojoba and Castor Beans.
• Globally many countries including India have resorted to ethanol blending to reduce harmful emissions from vehicles.
• Ethanol blending is the practice of blending petrol with ethanol.
• The inauguration of the refinery paves the way for a 20 per cent increase in ethanol blending program and can reduce the import burden of crude petroleum.