As per the instructions from the Union ministry for new and renewable energy (MNRE), the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India will test the bio-CNG produced from bagasse and its use in operating a commercial vehicle.
Hyderabad-based Spectrum Renewable Energy Private Ltd will provide the bio-CNG and an engine of a commercial vehicle for detailed testing, which will include testing of emission levels, engine performance under different conditions and other technical challenges.
According to Mohan Rao, chairman and chief executive officer of Spectrum, the production of bio-CNG would start in around 40 days and cylinders of CNG and an engine would be provided to the Automotive Research for testing. “The primary tests have shown sufficient generation of bio-CNG, which is cost-effective. If this fuel meets requirements, then we will certainly go for commercial production of bio-CNG,” he said.
The test is significant as for the first time compressed natural gas (CNG) is produced from bagasse of sugar factory. Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) has helped in extracting methane from biogas and further converting biogas into CNG, which is used as fuel in New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.
The ministry has asked Warna Group and Spectrum to get proper permissions and launch the project. The ministry has asked for tests to estimate production and conversion costs, fuel efficiency and money saved if vehicles run on bio-CNG than conventional fuel like petrol and diesel. The primary report was positive. The first pilot project is set up at Warnanagar near Kolhapur. The Warna cooperative sugar factory and Spectrum Renewable have joined hands for this project.