Board to set up pilot plants in the coastal belt of the State for the purpose

Y.B. Ramakrishna, Executive Chairman, Karnataka State Biofuel Development Board, said on Saturday that the board was planning to set up pilot plants for production of bio-ethanol from cashew apple and coffee pulp in the coastal belt in the State.

The plan was likely to materialise in six months from now, he told presspersons on the sidelines of a function organised by the board to inaugurate the Dakshina Kannada district-level biofuel information and demonstration centre at the National Institute of Technology – Karnataka (NIT-K) at Surathkal.

A.K. Monnappa, Managing Director of the board, said that certain issues pertaining to excise rules would have to be sorted out before setting up the pilot plants. The sites for setting up the pilot plants were yet to be identified.

C.T. Ravi, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada and Minister for Higher Education inaugurated the centre. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Ramakrishna said that it was the 32nd centre of the board in the State. It would provide information on biofuel to farmers, entrepreneurs, students, scientists, researchers and others in general. The information would be on different biofuel species and their cultivation, methods of harvesting seeds, processing, value addition and marketing.

The centre had an oil extracting unit, a bio-diesel production unit, laboratory for testing the quality of biofuel produced and other associated facilities.

A staff member at the centre told the visiting media persons that a litre of bio-diesel could be produced from four kilograms of “honge beeja” (pongamia seeds). He said that a litre of bio-diesel could be produced from 2 kg of “sura honne” seeds.

Earlier addressing presspersons Mr. Ramakrishna said that the 33rd centre of the board would be opened at Chikmagalur.

He said that implementing bio-fuel promotion programmes have not yielded expected results because raw materials of bio-fuel were being exported from the country in large quantity.

There was a need to impose some restrictions on the export of bio-diesel raw materials from the country for domestic production of bio-fuel.

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