Mumbai: “We have successfully achieved our target to produce 1,500 litres of bio-diesel per month (since August 2014) from edible oils and looking ahead an uptick in this production, though we are facing shortage of raw material like used edible oil which is its primary source,” said an official from Parel workshop.
Explaining the process of chemical reaction which transforms used edible oil into bio-diesel, the official added, “a triglyceride molecule reacts with an excess of alcohol in the presence of strong base catalyst to produce fatty esters and glycerin as a by-product and this fatty ester of alcohol is known as bio-diesel.”
With a concern for cleaner environment, Indian Railwayshas decided to promote use of alternative fuels like bio-diesel in a big way for powering the vast fleet of over 4,000 diesel locomotives.
Technically, bio-diesel can be used in diesel engines without engine modification and can attain full operating power.
“We are very shortly going to approach hotel owners and edible oil users to give or donate once used edible oil to us. The only problem with us is that if edible oil has been used more than once, then viscosity of the bio-diesel does not match with ideal bio-diesel’s viscosity,” said Narendra Patil, Chief PRO of Central Railway.
Terming this venture as moving from “Black Gold” to “Green Gold”, Patil further added, “Bio-diesel has potential to become the fuel of the future and it will not only provide employment opportunities in rural areas but also energy security, cleaner air and savings in foreign exchange.”
Biodiesel is safe, biodegradable, and reduces serious air pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and air toxics.
According to the National Biodiesel Board, using B-20 biodiesel fuel blend can reduce unburned hydrocarbons up to 20 per cent, carbon monoxide upto 12 per cent and particulate matter upto 12 per cent.