Kerala is a suitable place to produce biodiesel from seaweed, says inventor | Biodiesel from algae | Kerala can produce biodiesel from seaweed

Ranchi (Jharkhand): The invention of biodiesel has received a lot of attention due to rising fuel prices and the environmental impact of conventional fuel. It was the engineer Vishal Prasad Gupta from Jharkhand who invented biodiesel from algae.

He felt that the product can also be made in Kerala as there are several bodies of water and the climate is suitable here. Professor SK Sinha from Birsa Agricultural University told Mathrubhumi that biodiesel has huge potential because air pollution causes major problems.

Possibilities in Kerala

Humidity above 60%, lots of sun, water with a pH between 7.5 and 8.5 and a temperature above 30 degrees are factors that stimulate the growth of algae. Thus, Kerala is an ideal location for the production of biodiesel.

More details about this can only be confirmed after testing the water sample. It costs up to Rs 25 crore to set up a biodiesel plant. But once production starts, it will become profitable in a short period of time, Vishal said.

Vishal Prasad Gupta carrying algae | Photo: Sabu Scaria

Birth of biodiesel from algae

A mechanical engineering graduate from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Vishal worked for Total France and the IOC research wing. He started experimenting with biodiesel in 2018. After Vishal invented biodiesel, Ranchi Municipal Corporation found it easier to clean water bodies covered with algae because it takes the greens for production.

The 42-year-old man opened a pump in Ranchi to distribute biodiesel developed from algae. The biodiesel pump is operated by a company called Orange Group. He sells biodiesel at a discount of Rs 10 per liter compared to normal diesel. If the production is on a large scale, the price can be further reduced. Biodiesel provides better energy efficiency and is also carbon neutral.

Microalgae found in ponds and a plant called Azolla pinnata prepared at Birsa Agricultural University are used to produce biodiesel. The sediment after producing the fuel can be used as a fertilizer. Vishal has applied for a patent for biodiesel produced without any chemicals.

Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum had approached Vishal for technical assistance. Tata Motors also said that biodiesel improves the efficiency of their vehicles. The algae collected over an area of ​​one hectare is enough to produce 1 lakh liters of fuel. As the algae regrow in 15 days, there is no worry about the lack of raw material.

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