"Govt exploring biofuels as a viable option"

As per the union transport and shipping minister, Mr Nitin Gadkari, biofuels such as bioCNG and biodiesel are being experimented at select places for their utility in bigger ways later


Made in India: The current government intends to develop biofuels through indigenous technologies

"Pollution is a big problem for all Indian cities. Second, we are importing petroleum products, coal and gas and we are spending a lot in doing so. Our government is working closely on assessing the reach of biofuels and other sustainable fuels," stated Mr Nitin Gadkari, union minister of road transport, highways and shipping at the International Conference on 'Sustainable Fuel for IC Engines in Emerging Nations' organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Tata Motors on February 02, 2015.

Talking about the efforts put by the government, Mr Gadkari revealed, "The first bus using ethanol has been plying in Nagpur for the past three months, and it has been a success till now. We are also in the process of experimenting with biodiesel and bio-CNG. It is that time for the economy and country, when we should give the highest priority to alternative and sustainable fuels. In all this, we also want to promote our 'Make in India' campaign and utilize the home-grown technical knowhow to meet our demands."

The two-day conference is first in a series of biennial conferences, which will focus on identifying alternative sustainable fuels that can help in controlling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Dr RK Pachauri, director general, TERI, in his inaugural address to delegates mentioned the growth in road transport in India and the massive proliferation of internal combustion engines in the emerging economies of the world requires all round analysis of choices for fuels to be used in the transport sector to ensure environmental protection and sustainability. "Air pollution in the cities and highways of India requires a detailed assessment of the current situation and choices that India, as well as other emerging economies, has in setting directions for the future. This conference will be a major step in defining the future of sustainable fuels and providing a basis for policies and strategies to support environmental quality, security of supply and sustainability in the transport sector," said Dr Pachauri.

The conference saw a range of luminaries such as Prof. Surya Prakash, professor and George A and Judith A Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry, University of Southern California; Prof. Arthur Ragauskas, professor, School of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, GA; Prof. Pål Börjesson, professor, Lund University, Sweden, among others, who discussed different aspects of alternative fuels and challenges in the current scenario.

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