Hyderabad: Dr. SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D), IndianOil elaborated on emerging alternate energy sources and future of fuels while addressing the media at Hyderabad in the presence of Mr. RSS Rao, Executive Director & State Head, IndianOil Telangana & Andhra Pradesh. Dr. Ramakumar said, “The diligent focus of IndianOil in research & development is what sets the company apart as a technology leader. In view of the deleterious effects of the fossil fuels, we need to find alternate sources of energy to create a sustainable future which is decarbonised. But, Carbon is still the richest and cheapest energy source and will continue to remain so for the next 20 years. But there is a strong need to control and contain the carbon output to reduce the carbon footprint even as we are using the carbon fuels.”
“For instance we have been using LPG for cooking for a very long time. Recently we have found a way of enhancing the thermal efficiency of LPG so that with less quantity of LPG you would be able to do more cooking. This has led to the development of a product call Indane XtraTej which gives 5% saving on LPG Consumption. This is a tangible benefit of Differentiated LPG with High thermal efficiency which also saves a lot of foreign exchequer since almost 50% of the LPG we use in India is imported. On the industrial side, by adding a little bit of nano material we have enhanced the thermal efficiency of LPG as a metal cutting gas which can replace the toxic Acetylene gas for used for metal cutting. While normal LPG has a maximum heating temperature of 1900 degree centrigrade, Nanocut has a heating efficiency of 2300 degree centigrade. Thereby turning out to be a much better and safer industrial gas with reduced Carbon footprint”, he added.
Speaking on Ethanol, Dr. Ramakumar said, “The government has mandated the usage of 10% of Ethanol in the transportation fuel. But currently not more than 6% of Ethanol is being added to the fuel. In view of the non availability of Ethanol to mix with the fuel, IndianOil’s R&D has found new avenues to produce Ethanol. Such new avenues of Ethanol production are essential since the government has mandated the Ethanol mix percentage of 20% by the year 2025. This has led to the development of 2G & 3G Ethanol. The 2G Ethanol comes out of wheat straw, paddy straw and already 2 major projects are proposed in Telangana & Andhra Pradesh for which the dialogue has already been initiated in Telangana where the government has enthusiastically responded to the proposal and has even identified land for the same. However, the project proposal is in very preliminary stages.”
“The R&D has also found another avenue for Ethanol production from carbon dioxide. The Carbon dioxide footprints from the refinery can be made into Ethanol through biotechnology pathway with microbes. CO2 also can be converted to Omega3 Fatty Acids which commands a huge price in the International markets and in refining the R&D has facilitated the introduction of flexible technology which enables conversion of the products to petrochemicals when the demand for liquid fuels go down. IndMax as the residue upgradation Technology for flexible refining has been developed by our R&D Centre. Our older refineries like Haldia and Barauni used initially the refining technology from Russia, recently the Russian refineries on a global evaluation basis have chosen the IndMax refining technology of IndianOil over the other technologies offered by the MNC Oil companies in the world. This way in terms of technological excellence IndianOil’s R&D has achieved a great milestone”, he further said.
Detailing the focus on CBG, Dr. Ramakumar said, “Government’s thrust through SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transport) is now on setting up 5000 CBG Plants by 2023 which will produce 15 Million Tonnes of CBG. IndianOil has already awarded 600 letter of intend to the prospective investors in CBG plants, with the set price of Rs. 46 per KG and assured off-take of the biogas by the national oil companies from the plants and the easy availability of loans for setting up plants on the basis of issued LOIs makes investing in CBG easy. IndianOil has already set up CBG plants in several places including Namakkal and Faridabad and the technology available for setting up and operating the plant is made available by the R&D of IndianOil. The basic feedstocks for biogas are agricultural residue, food waste and animal litter which is abundantly available in the rural areas.”
“IndianOil is already running 50 Delhi Transport Corporation buses on Hydrogen CNG where the Carbon Monoxide emissions is less by 70% and HCNG is emerging as an ideal fuel for running heavy vehicles including buses, trucks etc.”, he said about HCNG.
Concluding his address he said, “In the near future of 5 to 10 years, IndianOil fuel pumps would be called IndianOil energy stations where along with cleanest Diesel and Petrol, you can also get Methanol, Ethanol, CNG, LNG, can swap your batteries, charge your EVs.”