Odia scientist-led team develops tech for producing biofuel
Saturday, 11 July 2020 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
The present scenario calls for production of biofuels using green technology. The term biofuel is referred to as liquid or gaseous fuels that are predominantly produced from biomass. Biofuels are important because they can replace petroleum based fuels.
Biofuels are generally considered as offering many priorities, including sustainability, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, regional development, social structure and agriculture, and security of energy supply, says Dr Sanjib Kumar Karmee, Principal Scientist and Head of Thermo-Chemical Conversion Division Sardar Patel Renewable Energy Research Institute Anand,Gujarat.
In the above context, biomass, in particular forestry (sawdust) and agricultural wastes, are best sources to meet the energy demands of the future as it is not only renewable but also environmentally friendly ,says Dr Karmee further.
The energy obtained from biomass is used mainly for heat production, electricity, and as liquid fuels for vehicles. Various advanced technologies have been developed to obtain biofuels and chemicals from biomass, which include the hydrothermal process, pyrolysis and combustion.
Pyrolysis of biomass is one of the most efficient technologies used to produce biofuels. The process is carried out at elevated temperatures under an inert atmosphere which is maintained using either argon or nitrogen gases. The process generates bio-oil, biochar (solid), and pyro-gas (gaseous products), explains Dr Karmee further.
To conduct pyrolysis experiments the Sardar Patel Renewable Energy Research Institute has designed and developed a new pyrolysis plant to produce biofuels from saw-dust and agro residues. A team led by Odia Scientist Dr Karmee has demonstrated that biomass can be successfully converted into biofuels using both batch and pilot scale system. The newly developed pilot system has important industrial significance since it can operate at 15 kg/hr scale. The results of these experiments are published in the Fuel journal (Elsevier), informs Dr Karmee further.