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Biodiesel cooperatives can wipe out poverty

Posted by Desenvolvimento Nordestino em agosto 13, 2007

The Many Colours Of Green Fuel


13 Jul 2005, 0000 hrs IST,ARUN FIRODIA
 

Biodiesel cooperatives can wipe out poverty

Extraido de : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1168744.cms 

In 1900, Rudolph Diesel unveiled his first diesel engine in Paris. That first engine ran on peanut oil. The world has come full circle and is again exploring the use of biodiesel, as fossil fuel prices rule at all-time highs. Western countries (except the US) have signed the Kyoto Protocol that binds them to use 2 percent biofuels like biodiesel in their motor fuels by 2005 and 5.75 percent by 2010. Most of these countries neither have sufficient land nor suitable climate to grow biodiesel trees. India can export biodiesel to them. China also has an ambitious plan to use 10 percent biofuels by 2010 and increase it to 12 percent by 2020 to take care of its rapidly rising energy requirements.
Western countries have earmarked a budget of USD 52 billion to help reduce emissions worldwide. The going rate is
USD 5 per CER (Certified Emission Reduction). The use of biodiesel leads to a reduction of 67 percent in hydrocarbons, 47 percent in carbon monoxide and 100 percent in sulphur compared to diesel. We can grab a large portion of this budget by taking up a drive to plant biodiesel trees.
In 2004, our own diesel consumption was 46.97 million metric tons (mmt). It is expected to rise by 5 percent or by 2.5 mmt every year. It will be prudent to meet this incremental demand with 20 percent blend (B20) or straight 100 percent (B100) biodiesel, which can be easily produced locally.
Neem, karanji, jatropha, ratanjyot, mahua, hirda, mirwa and rohitak are biodiesel trees. Jatropha tree plantations have recently been promoted. Other plants of Indian origin should also be considered. That will ensure biodiversity. The seeds of these trees, when crushed, give out oil. Upon trans-esterification, this oil becomes biodiesel.
Well-equipped companies can be licensed to set up oil extraction and esterification plants in districts that take up biodiesel tree plantation in a big way. Using indigenous technology, the cost of a 300-tonne plant could be contained within Rs 40 crore. Oil companies could sell biodiesel through roadside biodiesel pumps to trucks, tempos and agriculture pumpsets. That would save on distribution costs.
Each Indian village has, on an average, 100 hectares (ha) of non-cultivable fallow land. This land can be leased to 100 families of landless labourers living below the poverty line. Each family would get a one-hectare plot to plant biodiesel trees, build a small house and live there. Family members would water these trees, manure them and nurture them to maturity. Biodiesel trees need only a small quantity of water. Each family, in one year, can collect oilseeds from the trees planted on its plot valued at Rs 50,000-70,000 at today’s prices. These oilseeds will yield three tonnes of oil. Advances in biotechnology will increase this yield further to six tonnes per family or 600 tonnes per village.
These 100 plot holders should form a cooperative society, with a local ex-serviceman as its chairman. He should organise rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, collection and delivery of oilseeds to the oil extraction plant, payment from the oil extraction plant and distribution to plot holders in proportion to their supply of seeds. He can be paid a fixed salary plus some commission on the collection.
In time to come, society members should be encouraged to raise milch cattle, do dairy business, and also set up a gobar gas plant to produce biogas and biofertiliser.
A part of biofertiliser could be used for nurturing biodiesel trees and the balance sold in the market. The oilcake that remains after oil extraction is rich in calorific value. It can be used as fuel for cooking meals or as an energy source for converting dairy milk into value-added products like khoya, ghee or sweets.
A population of 300 million can rise above the poverty line — 100 families per village in six lakh villages. They can
produce 360 mmt of biodiesel to meet eight times the current requirement of diesel. We have enough non-cultivable wasteland for biodiesel tree plantations on such a massive scale. The government plans to start biodiesel tree plantation on four lakh hectares in eight states, which will produce one million tonnes of biodiesel. Banks like the State Bank of India give loans for biodiesel tree plantation.
The government also gives an incentive for biodiesel trees plantation under Employment Guarantee Scheme. Further, it should give full exemption in excise duty, sales tax and income tax to encourage biodiesel production and sales. To begin with, we should aim to meet incremental demand through biodiesel, to protect government revenue at the current level. Hence, the government need not flinch from giving these exemptions.
The US consumes eight times as much energy as we do. Our requirement will shoot up eight times down the line, which can be met only by producing biodiesel. We have no option but to face this challenge. We do possess the necessary wherewithal. The government should declare its biodiesel policy and set targets, like the US, the EU or China.

The writer is chairman, Kinetic Group.

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Uma resposta to “Biodiesel cooperatives can wipe out poverty”

  1. sameer said

    this article is awesome. pl publish more like this

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