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A review of biofuels in India: challenges and opportunities

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conference contribution
posted on 05.11.2015, 16:24 authored by Richard BlanchardRichard Blanchard, S.C. Bhattacharya, M. Chowdhury, B. Chowdhury, K. Biswas, B.K. Choudhury
Economic development in India has raised millions of people out of poverty and brought about the modernization of society. Economic ambition though has not been reached without costs. India has become more reliant of imports of energy which affects energy security. Pollution from industry, transport and traditional cook stoves affects air quality and is increasing emissions of greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change. . India initiated bio-fuel production nearly a decade ago to reduce its dependence on imported oil and thus improve energy security and is now one of the largest producers of Jatropha oil. The country began 5% ethanol blending (E5) pilot program in 2001 and formulated the National Mission on Biodiesel in 2003 to achieve 20% biodiesel blends by 2011–2012 (Government of India, 2002, 2003). Similar to many countries around the world, India's biofuel programs experienced setbacks, primarily because of supply shortages and global concerns over food security. India’s National Policy on Biofuels in 2009 proposed a non-mandatory target of a 20% blend for both biodiesel and ethanol by 2017, and outlines a broad strategy for the biofuels program and policy measures to be considered to support the program. The aim of the paper is to review the potential for biofuels to off-set the use of fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in India. The recent historic use of biofuels in the context of Government policy developments will be presented. Example materials (crops, wastes, residues) that can be used for biofuels will be reviewed taking a systems approach through whole lifecycle assessment. Case studies highlighting failure and successes with biofuel utilization will be presented as examples of the challenges and opportunities for the use of biofuels in India, with suggestions made on the role of biofuels in the future.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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World Energy Engineering Congress 2015


BLANCHARD, R.E. ... et al., 2015. A review of biofuels in India: challenges and opportunities. Presented at: World Energy Engineering Congress 2015, Orlando, Florida, USA.


Association of Energy Engineers


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Orlando, Florida, USA