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Bio-diesel!! Saying bye to petrol, diesel…

Bio-diesel, jatropha, bio fuel, diesel, petrol, women self-help groups, farmers, fuel generator

What if the petroleum resource ends…No petroleum, no diesel, no petrol…Just think!! Don’t panic… Well! If there is a problem, there must be a solution! The answer is ‘biofuel.’ This fuel produces only half of the unburned hydrocarbon emissions and one-third of the particulate emissions produced by diesel fuel derived from crude petroleum.

As great maestro Rudolf Diesel said way back in 1912 that—

The use of vegetable oils (bio-diesel) for engine may seem insignificant today but such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and coal tar products of the present time.

Today it seems to be true to the t!! This bio-diesel can be used for any diesel engine without modification, opine experts. Distilleries for bio-fuel exist throughout the globe. Wherever land and water are abundant, bio-diesel is cheap and the flow never wanes. Farmers, world over, are already engaged in its cultivation. Above all, there is no supply problem. So, we can now put an end to petro-fuel before hands, saying bye to non-renewable energy.

Now, let me break the suspense…
Biodiesel is cultivated from jatropha curcas, also called physic nut. In Africa, India, Asia and the Americas, Jatropha is one of the most promising feedstock in what is becoming a worldwide bio-fuel bonanza. Experts say that jatropha bio-fuel can be used without any problems in modern CDI engines adapted for bio-diesel. DaimlerChrysler, India, which used it to fuel an eye-catching round trip throughout India. A Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI specially modified to use jatropha biodiesel toured the country between April and May 2004, covering around 5,900 kilometers and visiting 11 major cities on a route extending from Pune to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. Europeans are planting and investing in Jatropha fields in all these places and elsewhere. One company in the U.K., D1 Oils based in London, has built a portable Jatropha biodiesel refinery. Even this company plans for D 1 Oils, UK, a global leader in bio-diesel supply, will set up a refinery for jatropha-derived bio-diesel in Bangalore by mid 2007

In India, jatropha is such an upbeat concept as its given a lease of employment to many women's Self Help Groups by using a system of microcredit to ease poverty among the nation's semi-literate population of women. Hand-inhand large plantings and nurseries of this tree have been undertaken.
This cash crop that costs almost nothing to grow and requires minimal water can't be a optionl. The yield is so fruitful that the trees produce 1600 liters of oil per hectare. It is also useful for restoring soil and fighting desertification.

Oil is extracted from seeds, the left over jatropha while the seed husks can be used to fuel generators. Rest is also not a waste, the cakes remaining after the oil is pressed out can be used for cooking, for fertilizing, and sometimes even as animal fodder.
Published: 2006-09-25
Author: Bhupinder Kohli

About the author or the publisher
•As feature writer with ‘The Times of India,’ handling special feature pages on property, personal finance and travel.
•Headed the team of ‘Times Newspaper In Education,’ the school edition of The Times of India, Chandigarh(2003-04).
•Worked as the editor-in-chief of ‘Page Three People’, a magazine focusing on socialites in Chandigarh.(2004-05).
•Freelancer with ‘Life Colours’ magazine and ‘’(2003)

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