by:     May 9, 2022

With its booming population and an ever-growing economy, India depends on energy sources such as oil, coal, and biomass for more than 80% of its energy needs. While the past decade has seen a tremendous modernization, there are still miles to achieve in terms of clean cooking fuels reaching every nook and corner of India. India's total liquid gas production is only up to 1 million barrels per day, and its petroleum product demands are more than 3.7 million barrels per day. India's motor gasoline and diesel consumption for transportation and industries are high. Kerosene and LPG take second place in the residential and commercial sectors. As a result, India's dependency on fossil fuel imports has increased alarmingly every day.

Due to various factors, depletion of available resources and a steep increase in consumption affect India economically and environmentally. Climate change, pollution, increased carbon monoxide emissions, and several other factors urge India to shift towards producing renewable energy sources, significantly contributing to economic growth and energy security. Although biofuels have been in use for ages, their importance has been recognized only in the past few decades. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to building a sustainable tomorrow, biofuels offer many benefits.

India has already taken a giant step towards energy transition with its large-scale investments and aims to improve its current contribution to the natural gas generation of 6.5% to 15% by 2030. While India must go through multiple transition steps, natural gas is the way forward because it is clean, affordable, helps to reduce pollution, and significantly contributes to reducing dependency on imports. In addition, moving into a gas-based economy will enable India to improve its economic growth and job market and achieve sustainability goals.

Biodiesel is renewable energy made from recycled cooking oil, animal fats (tallow), and vegetable oils (soybean and corn, for example) and comprises mono-alkyl esters. Transesterification is a chemical process that separates glycerine from fat/ vegetable oil to produce methyl esters (Biodiesel). Glycerine, separated during the transesterification process, is a crucial ingredient in the soap manufacturing industry, and adds to the profitability of the biodiesel production process for manufacturers.

Why is it crucial for India to produce biodiesel?

India's domestic production of crude oil requirements covers 17.9% and the remaining 80% through imports. Increased import of crude oil causes an impact on foreign trade leading to challenges at both economic and political levels. However, India is also one of the largest consumer markets for vegetable oil (for cooking purposes), which means there is a vast untapped potential for producing biodiesel since there is abundant used cooking oil is available. With proper process management for collecting used cooking oil and making biodiesel, India can replace up to 40% of its energy requirements.

Biodiesel market revenue reached USD 46.79 billion by the end of 2021. However, studies suggest that the biodiesel market will grow at a CAGR of 5.87% and reach USD 51.48 billion by the end of 2026. Louis Dreyfus, Ital Green Oil, ADM, Neste Oil Rotterdam, Diester Industries, Infinita Renovables, Glencore, and Cargill are among the top few major players in the biodiesel market. Industry experts expect the global biodiesel market to reach USD 48.1 billion by the end of 2028. And the Asia Pacific region seems set to dominate the worldwide biodiesel market.

  • Biodiesel is renewable, clean, and generated using non-edible oils, acid oil, animal tallow, and cooking oil. The raw materials used in its production help India meet its global climate goals.
  • Domestic biodiesel production also helps create a significant amount of job opportunities in the market.
  • When replaced with fossil fuels, Biofuels help significantly reduce carcinogenic compounds' emissions for a better and healthier environment.

Biodiesel is an excellent choice for aircraft fuel, lubrication, adhesive remover, degreaser, raw material for printing ink remover, and bioremediation agent to clean up oil spills. While it serves various purposes, it also offers tons of benefits to an economy.

Renewable source of energy

Petroleum products are nearing depletion due to several factors. However, biodiesel is generated from animal fat, edible and non-edible fat, making it a more sustainable option. Biodiesel is also a clean, toxin-free energy source that does not harm the environment.

End of energy crisis

The energy crisis and energy politics have begun to threaten world peace. While it was not a threat previously, the time to consider its repercussions has arrived. Domestic production of biodiesel can help reduce geopolitical tensions significantly.

Improved engine performance

The quality of the oil/ fuel used is vital for the engine to perform smoothly for a more extended period. Using biodiesel helps increase fuel lubricity, enabling the engine to run more effectively. However, it is vital to check the specifications of an automobile before shifting to biodiesel.

Air quality

Biodiesel production requires raw materials generated through agriculture which means the cycle is maintained since it uses the crops and releases carbon monoxide during combustion. While this improves the air quality significantly, it also helps reduce the challenges of global warming.

Dependence on oil imports

Domestic biofuel production helps India to reduce its dependency on fossil fuel needs primarily met through imports, thereby saving billions.

Clean and biodegradable 

Biofuels, when burnt, produce lesser carbon emissions and fewer pollutants, making them a cleaner energy option. In addition, the flashpoint for biodiesel is more than 150°C. In comparison, petroleum products are combustible at 52°C, making it a safer alternative to use, store, and transport.

Optimizing existing infrastructure

Biodiesel can be used in the existing diesel engines and does not require any replacements. In addition, biodiesel has less sulphur content, improves engine lubrication, and increases the engine's life.

The introduction of a new form of energy production is usually challenging due to investment in infrastructure, the requirement of new equipment, and skilled labour. However, biodiesel production is easier since oils and fats manufacturers and refiners can utilize existing machinery, infrastructure, raw materials, and resources to produce biodiesel.

It is also a welcome change in the oils and fats industry since biodiesel production also improves profits with existing resources and enhances revenues by optimal usage of resources. Many existing oil manufacturers have understood optimizing, and many are looking to improvise on their existing pieces of equipment.

Kumar's biodiesel plant with BIS 15607:2005 standards enables multi-feedstock options in a single plant, making it an excellent choice for the existing oil manufacturers/refiners to pursue biodiesel production. In addition, it also generates pharma-grade glycerine production, lowers consumption of methanol, reduces catalyst consumption, and cuts down on operational costs.

If you would like to know more about adding biodiesel manufacturing capacity to your existing facility, please reach out to us using the form below.

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