Plant that makes biodiesel using waste material at IIT-B | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Plant that makes biodiesel using waste material at IIT-B

mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2012 01:06 IST
Bhavya Dore
Bhavya Dore
Hindustan Times
Bhavya Dore

Last month, after four years of labour, the biosynth - a plant created by IIT-B students - produced its 150 litres of its first quantum of biodiesel made from waste edible oil.

The plant, tucked away behind the campus' main building, was created by students and faculty of the chemical engineering department, who claim it is the first to be created at an institute level.

The fuel has been put to use in some fumigation exercises on campus where diesel was necessary and the group hopes that the plant gradually will find wider use, especially for transportation facilities within the institute's Powai campus.

"It was very exciting. We all stayed up until 4am the night we generated the first batch of biodiesel," said Shrayank Gupta, 22, one of the overall coordinators of the project and a fourth year student at the institute.

Around 30 to 35 students have been involved since the project was first kick-started in 2008, with fresh students being recruited to 'Team Biosynth' every year. The group has also won awards for their plant.

The raw materials for the fuel come from the waste edible oil as well as a wild crop jatropha that the group has sourced.

While the institute invested money in building the plant, the project has been student driven, in terms of design, inception and execution.

The group is now in the process of tweaking the plant after their first run last month, and hopes to increase their bio-diesel production gradually.

But the project was not only born of a desire to produce fuel. "It gives you an opportunity to apply what you learn in class in practice, in the campus itself," said Shubhang Garodia, 22, also a project coordinator and fourth year dual degree student at the institute.