Odisha university partners with BPCL to promote bio-fuel
(5 months ago)
Bhubaneswar, Dec 24 : Odisha's University of Agriculture and Technology and state-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on Sunday signed an agreement to develop and promote rice straw based bio-fuel production in the state.
A 'Biofuel Chair' would be set up in the university to conduct research for screening of best agricultural crops and develop new agricultural varieties that can yield more cellulose content.
The petroleum company will provide financial support of Rs 5 crore to the university for effective utilisation of paddy straw for bio-fuel production in a bio-chemical enzymatic process.
Out of the total budget allocation, Rs 2 crore will be used as a corpus for the chair and Rs 3 crore as research contingency for development, establishment and popularization of the bio-fuel production technology, said an official.
The endeavour is in line with the policy decision for supplementation of 10 per cent straw-based ethanol for increasing fuel efficiency and reducing the pressure on fossil fuel.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was present at the signing of the agreement, said the university would help BPCL in strengthening technical support for ensuring smooth functioning of the 2G ethanol bio-refinery at Bargarh in Odisha.
"We should promote and extend support for agri-business in Odisha and reach new markets across the globe. This would empower our younger generation and enhance the income of youths and farmers," said Pradhan.
He also proposed that the university establish an agri-business incubation centre in the campus to promote students, farmers and young entrepreneurs in Odisha.
He urged the state government to extend all cooperation for the establishment of the incubation centre. The large acreage and production of rice in the state has provided ample opportunities to excel in promotion of rice straw based bio-fuel production.
Being the staple food, rice is grown in all the agro-climatic zones of the state.
At present, Odisha has an annual rice production of 85 lakh tonnes with approximate production of 100 lakh tonnes of rice straw. Except for use as fodder and a few domestic purposes, there is almost no economic utilization of rice straw. Now, it has become a prime necessity to think of alternative economic utilization of rice straw.