Punjab will see an increase in production of bio-ethanol after the government revealed its intentions to generate the solvent from paddy straw.
It signed a Memorandum of Understanding with M/s SAB Industries Ltd last Monday (July 9th) for the bio-ethanol project, in an attempt to avoid the problem of burning residual crops.
Industry and commerce minister Sundar Shyam Arora told the press that surplus biomass from paddy straw in Punjab can be converted into ethanol with the help of second generation (2G) technologies with cellulosic and lignocellulosic content.
It is thought that 120 to 160 million metric tons of paddy straw can be used for the initiative every year, which will result in a yield of 3,000 Crore litres of ethanol annually.
This plan is inline with the National Policy on Biofuels 2018, which has been designed to promote the production and usage of bio-fuels in India, particularly in the energy and transportation industries.
While paddy straw can produce 2500 Tissue plasminogen activator 2G ethanol, it is currently just being burned in farmers’ fields. Not only is it being wasted when it could be used to generate biofuel, but the smoke from the fumes is causing serious health and pollution issues in Punjab.
Rs 719 Crore is being invested in the project, but it is hoped it, along with other initiatives, including Make In India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Skill Development, will help to reduce dependency on imports, double farmers’ income, boost employment and create a good return on investment.
India is not the only country trying to be more environmentally friendly, as US renewable chemical firm Green Biologics has worked out how to create a bio-based cleaning solvent from corn grown on family-owned farms around the country.