Home News Updates IIT Kanpur & NSI to jointly establish a Centre of Excellence for Biofuels

IIT Kanpur & NSI to jointly establish a Centre of Excellence for Biofuels

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The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) and National Sugar Institute, Kanpur (NSI Kanpur) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Centre of Excellence for Biofuels.

Under this MoU, IIT Kanpur & NSI Kanpur will engage in the joint projects to conduct cutting-edge research and develop and adopt state-of-the-art technology to enhance biofuel production in the country with improved efficiency and sustainability. The biofuels are expected to play a key role in reducing dependency on fossil fuels and mitigating climate change as well. The focus area of this collaborative research work will take up the study on enhancing the production of Ethanol, Methanol, Bio-CNG, Aviation Fuel, and Green Hydrogen, etc. from biomass, a renewable source of energy.

Dr. Seema Paroha, Director, NSI Kanpur, said this is a long-term MoU, and a dedicated building with a state-of-the-art laboratory, including all requisite equipment, pilot plants, and instruments, will be established for the CoE at the Institute campus. This will initially be funded by the ministry, and moving forward, industrial tie-ups will also be targeted.

Uttar Pradesh being an agri-based state and one of the top-ranked states in sugarcane production, will be an ideal place for Biofuel research. This partnership aims to leverage the expertise of both institutions to address the growing energy needs of India while promoting environmental conservation.

The National Bio-fuel policy, 2018 allows the production of ethanol from various sugarcane-based feedstock as well as use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol. Under Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme, the Govt. has fixed the target of 20% blending of ethanol with petrol by 2025. In order to increase the production of ethanol in the country, the Govt. has been promoting maize as a major feedstock for production of ethanol. It is also focusing towards Waste to Wealth approach by promoting the usage of other by-products of sugarcane.

The signing of the MoU took place in the presence of Shri Ashwini Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Sugar), Dept of Food & Public Distribution, Govt of India; Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Director, IIT Kanpur; and Dr. Seema Paroha, Director, National Sugar Institute, Kanpur on on 15th June 2024 at NSI Kanpur.  The occasion was also witnessed by Prof. Rajeev Jindal and Prof. Debopam Das from IIT Kanpur, along with Shri Vinay Kumar, Shri Anoop Kumar Kanaujia, and Dr. R. Ananthalakshmi from NSI Kanpur.

Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Director of IIT Kanpur, said, ” NSI Kanpur has been working in this field for over 60 years, understanding the market dynamics and technological requirements well. Parallelly, IIT Kanpur possesses the understanding of fundamental science and technologies in chemical and other related domains. The aim is to combine the strengths of both institutions to create a state-of-the-art center to help India take a leadership position in the area of biofuels.”

This MoU signifies a way forward in enhancing the production of advanced sustainable high-quality biofuels by developing innovative technologies, optimizing existing processes, and establishing pilot projects to demonstrate biofuel technology viability. This will ultimately contribute to safeguarding the energy supply, protecting the climate by minimizing CO2 emissions, and reducing dependence on fossil fuels/ import of crude oils.

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