A biodiesel technology scaled up at the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) in Wayanad is getting ready for viable commercial production. The Indian Patent Office issued the certificate of grant for the development titled ‘Biodiesel Production from Rendered Chicken Oil’ recently.
This was the doctoral work of John Abraham, associate professor, Livestock Production Management (LPM), College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode, under the KVASU. He had pioneered the production of biodiesel from broiler chicken waste and dead poultry.
Along with his guide Ramesh Saravana Kumar, professor and head of the LPM, Veterinary College and Research Institute (VCARI) at Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Abraham filed a patent for the technology in 2014 on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS).
Dr. Abraham scaled up his innovation by establishing a pilot plant at the KVASU campus at Pookode and demonstrated the economic production of a renewable bio-fuel from a potential hazardous waste.
The bio-fuel was validated by the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Kochi refinery. Demonstrably, a farm vehicle ran on it with better engine efficiency and significantly reduced emissions. Several rendering plants across the country had approached the team for tapping the idea’s commercial potential after an article on the technology was published by The Hindu in 2016, said Dr. Abraham.
However, a Coimbatore-based rendering plant has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the TANUVAS for the commercial production of the biodiesel, which would commence soon, he said.
The chicken-sourced biodiesel was found to have a commendably higher cetane value of 72, as compared to 64 of petro-diesel, meaning better efficiency, Dr. Abraham pointed out.
It is relatively cheaper as well. Diesel could be produced at ₹30.23 per litre and the bio-fuel can be used at 80:20 ratio with diesel in normal, unmodified, diesel engines. However, it can be used as the sole fuel with some engine modifications, he said.
Dr. Abraham has offered the patent as a tribute to his guide Dr. Kumar who passed away recently. Dr. Abraham is planning to present a memento with the patent certificate to the VCARI , where he had done the research, in memory of his guide.
Dr. Abraham was recently awarded NITI Aayog’s ‘Atal India Challenge’ for this innovation.