Coal easily available but expensive alternative to pet coke: Experts
Most industrial units in Noida and Greater Noida have to switched to coal as fuelnoida Updated: Nov 07, 2017 15:54 IST
After Supreme Court put a blanket ban on the use of pet coke and furnace oil in industries to curb pollution, industries in Noida and Greater Noida have switched to coal as fuel.
On October 24, the apex court issued a directive banning the use of petroleum coke and furnace oil in industries, claiming that they cause heavy air pollution compared to other renewable and non-renewable fuels. The directive is supposed to be implemented in all industries of Noida and Greater Noida by November 1 by the regional officers of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board.
Petroleum coke or pet coke is a fine carbon rich solid material derived from oil refining whereas furnace oil is obtained from petroleum distillation.
BB Awasthi, the regional officer of UPPCB, Noida, claimed that city’s industries have stopped using pet coke or furnace oil for manufacturing purposes.
“There are three industries in Noida that use pet coke. Out of three, one has closed down and two have moved to coal as an alternative,” Awasthi said.
Jagan Arora, managing director of Sandeep Paper Mills in Noida’s Sector 6, said that though the cost of ‘American’ coal is lesser than pet coke, its consumption is far more due to its lesser productivity.
“We have now switched to coal from pet coke following the directive from the Supreme Court. While pet coke costs ₹12,500 per tonne, the cost of coal is ₹10,500 per tonne. However, 70% more coal is used than coke for the same output,” Arora said.
Mukesh Kumar, general manager of Sun Tech Industry, an electric appliance manufacturing unit, said that his workers have switched to coal instead of pet coke.
“At this moment, I won’t be able to tell the price difference between the two fuels, but we have followed the Supreme Court’s order,” said Kumar.
Further explaining the difference between the two fuels, AK Tiwari, Greater Noida officer of UPPCB said, “As per the Supreme Court order, we have prohibited the use of pet coke in 37 industrial units in Greater Noida. Coal is an easily available alternative for pet coke and similarly, black diesel oil is an easy alternative for furnace oil as the form of fuel doesn’t change in both cases. However, if the industry unit changes from liquid fuel to gas, then they have to install dual fuel burners. The cost will be an issue.”
UPPCB officers further said that inspections for compliance will be conducted at the industry units from next week.