Y.B. Ramakrishna, Executive Chairman of the Karnataka State Biofuel Development Board, has said that use of biofuel as an alternative to fossil fuels in the country should be revolutionised.

He was addressing a seminar on ‘Blending biodiesel for backup generators used in buildings' at the National Institute of Engineering here on Saturday. Local communities should be encouraged to cultivate biofuel plants, he added.

Cost-effective

Laying stress on the need to use biofuel to cut down carbon emission and bring down environmental pollution, Mr. Ramakrishna said it was also cost-effective.

Fossil fuels were being used for the last one-and-a-half centuries. They could run out of stock in the next 60 years, according to studies.

Hence, the country should think about alternative sources of energy to carry on, Mr. Ramakrishna said.

‘Not a new one'

Stating that the use of biofuel was not new to India, Mr. Ramakrishna pointed out that BEST buses in Mumbai (then Bombay) during the World War II ran on ‘power petrol', which was a 20 per cent blend of ethanol and petrol.

At present, Karnataka had the capacity to produce 135 million litres of ethanol from molasses.

Stating that Karnataka was one of the leading States using ethanol, Mr. Ramakrishna added the State was the first to formulate a biofuel policy, create a task force and constitute a board for the promotion of biofuel.

Launch

Mr. Ramakrishna said the formal launch of the programme to signal the use of biodiesel would be inaugurated at the Bengaluru International Airport on February 22. No other airport in the world had achieved this feat, he said.

Stating that the target of blending 5 per cent ethanol had to be met in the country by 2017, Mr. Ramakrishna lauded the KSRTC for making use of ethanol-blended diesel to run the system the last five years.

Biodiesel development centres were working in 17 places in the State, and would be expanded to 32 centres by June, Mr. Ramakrishna stated.



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