The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $2.5 million technical assistance (TA) to support advanced (second-generation) biofuel development in India.
Second-generation biofuels can be produced from non-edible sources like agricultural residue, municipal solid waste, and used cooking oil. They can be used as bioethanol, biogas, and biodiesel for energy, transport, manufacturing, and medical purposes.
This renewable energy will lower net greenhouse gas emission without threatening food security. India has a massive amount of wastes, but crop burning causes severe air pollution.
If agricultural waste can be collected effectively as feedstock, its sales will be able to supplement rural farmers’ income and negate the need to burn crop waste.
Till date technical and financial barriers have been discouraging commercial production, such as the absence of technology standards, lack of feedstock supply chain mechanism, limited access to finance, and resultant high production costs and financial viability risks.
The ADB’s TA will help address these obstacles and prepare for advanced biofuels’ commercial application and large-scale production.
It will support the development of advanced bioethanol, bio-compressed natural gas, and biodiesel plants to demonstrate the best practices for suitable feedstock, efficient conversion technology, and sustainable biofuel value chain.
The TA will also support incorporating gender mainstreaming design in the feedstock value chain to promote the empowerment of rural women in agriculture.
The advanced biofuels can provide simultaneous solutions to address energy security, waste recycling, climate change, and air pollution reduction.
Reference- ADB Online PR, The Hindu, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the Oil Industry Development Board