Awareness camps on biodiesel in villages

A stall of the Nitte Mahalinga Adyantya Memorial Institute of Technology displaying a product Karnataka state Bio Fuel Development Board at a Seminar held and organised by Mangalore univeristy at Mangagangotri. Photo: R.Eswarraj   | Photo Credit: R.Eswarraj

The Biotechnology Engineering Department of Nitte Mahalinga Adyanthaya Memorial Institute of Technology (NMAMIT), Nitte, Karkala, has contacted 500 to 1,000 people in villages near Nitte regarding the production of biodiesel from locally-available seeds.

Venkatesh Kamath, lecturer, Biotechnology Engineering Department, told The Hindu that people have attended camps organised on the subject through self-help groups (SHG) of the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara (SDM) Trust and Junior Chambers International India. The same number is expected to attend four more camps to be held this month, he said.

The aim of the project is to create awareness among farmers, students, the scientific community, and the public on biodiesel and the production process. The target groups are SHGs, NGOs, communities, and the public, especially in rural areas. “Commercialisation is not the aim and we are strictly against that,” he said.

The project is part of the Biofuel Information and Demonstration Centre (BIDC) sponsored by Karnataka State Biofuel Development Board (KSBDB), Bangalore. The centre is one of the 17 information and demonstration centres instituted by KSBDB in Karnataka. The department has developed technology for producing biodiesel and started production of biodiesel on a pilot scale in November last year.

The oil is from non-edible seeds of locally available trees in Mangalore and Udupi. The plant, located in the college campus, can produce 50 litres of biodiesel over 10-12 hours, he said.

Mr. Kamath said that inedible seeds with 25 per cent of oil are used.

The KSBDB has identified 130 species of region-specific, non-edible oil-yielding species. Currently, the plant is not functioning as the seeds are not available. With rubber seeds available in one or two months' time, the plant will start with a minimum of 200 kg of oilseeds that will yield 50 litres of oil.

The project, which has received Rs. 5 lakh from the Government, has to be self-sustaining in three years. The pilot project is headed by Vaman Rao, Head of Department and Principal Coordinator.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:29:05 PM |

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