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Vegetative oils may fuel cars very soon

Vegetative oils may fuel cars very soon

india Updated: Mar 10, 2004 05:44 IST

Vegetable oils may be the answer to India's old problem with expensive crude oil, 70% of which is imported.

Crude oil is the single biggest drain on the country's foreign exchange reserve. Its fluctuating prices also ensure that officials and planners are always kept on the edge. Sample this: An increase of $1 for a barrel of crude oil adds $425 million to the oil import bill.

With the demand for crude (95% of which goes into transportation) expected to jump from 55 million metric ton a year to 85 million metric ton a year, the government is now turning its attention on alternative sources of energy, especially bio fuels.

It has now set up a national mission to explore the various aspects of bio-fuels including, plantation, seed procurement, oil extraction, transesterification, blending, trade and development.

Bio-fuels are cheap to produce as they can be extracted from trees such as Jatropha, Karanja and Mahua, which are common in many parts of India.

Many countries including Italy, the US, Spain, Japan and Malaysia have already introduced bio-fuels in a big way. Austria has made their use mandatory in areas where there is a high risk to the environment. (Currently, France is the world's largest producer of bio-diesel.)

First Published: Mar 10, 2004 05:44 IST