Topics: Biodiesel, Ester, Petroleum, Biofuel / Pages: 4 (923 words) / Published: Nov 29th, 2013

The recent upheavals in the oil market leading to record oil prices, have again turned the world attention to alternative sources of energy. A number of them are being researched

Nuclear energy, Hydrogen energy, Wind energy, Solar energy & Bio-energy. Use of nuclear energy and hydrogen energy for civilian purposes are in very nascent stages. Fuel cells are more promising, but they are yet to be put in commercial practice. Wind energy and solar energy already find use in a good number of applications though they have their own limitations.

The bio-energy alternative, while it has its limitations as well, is exciting because it provides us with easily available fuel that can fit into today’s gasoline and diesel engines with minimal or no changes to existing systems. Secondly, biofuels are environmentally superior fuels. Thirdly, there is need to meet the global environmental concern about climate change, ensure energy security, reduce imports, generate employment for the poor and achieve a number of other objectives.

Of the bio-energy alternatives, one exciting trend is biodiesel – the manufacture and use of diesel-like substitute from plant and animal fats. The rationale of taking up a programme for the production of bio-diesel in India for blending with diesel lies in the context of :-

• Bio-diesel being a superior fuel than HSD from the environmental point of view.
• Use of bio-diesel becomes compelling in view of the tightening of automotive vehicle emission standards and court interventions into the same.
• The need to provide energy security, specially for the rural areas.
• The need to create employment.
• Providing nutrients to soil, checking soil erosion and land degradation.
• Rehabilitating degraded lands through greening.
• Addressing global concern relating to containing carbon emissions as provided in the framework convention on climate change, and
• Reduce dependence on crude oil

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