Time to think of conservation on World Biofuel Day

Elisheba Choppala

Chennai: By reducing crop burning and converting agricultural residues / wastes into biofuels, we can even reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is the observation of Elisheba Choppala, Petroleum Engineering student at Oakland University, USA.

Biofuel is produced through biological processes, as opposed to fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Speaking in New Delhi on World Biofuel Day today, Prime Minister Modi said the government was committed to adding 10 per cent ethanol to petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent by 2030.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been observing this day for three years.

One of the important factors – ethanol blending – has increased. Ethanol blending, which is made using the juice of corn, sugarcane, molasses and damaged food like rice or potatoes, have helped in the increase of ethanol use.
Elisheba added, “By reducing crop burning and converting agricultural residues / wastes into biofuels, we can even reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Apart from reducing gas emissions, she says that we can also find alternative ways to make eco-friendly fuels that can be used in flights.

Qantas Airways in Australia is trying to incorporate biofuel. They are planning to draw aviation biofuel from carinata, a type of mustard seed. Apart from being used as animal feed, carinata seed fuel helps reduce 80 per cent carbon print, compared to traditional aviation fuel. Sown at off-season, the harvested seeds are extracted for their oil and tested for best results.

Closer home, biofuels help in reducing dependence on conventional oil and gives employment to villagers.

Indian scientists have found that corn is an important factor in preparing biofuels. After making ethanol out of it, the remaining corn can be used as corn oil, and supplement in food products.


Rajasthan was the first State to implement the biofuel policy. The policy will help farmers in not only getting employment but also reducing India’s dependence on oil from other countries. Recently, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Rajendra Rathore said they have installed a biodiesel plant of 8-tonne capacity to promote biofuel marketing and generate awareness about it.


Southern Railway has adopted biofuels and according to sources, many trains are run on bio-diesel.

This has gone a long way in conserving fossil fuels and bringing down pollution levels.

Mercy Angeline C