Plant to Extract Diesel from Plastic for Railways to Be Reality Soon: Harshvardhan

Indian Railways will soon set up plants to extract diesel for mechanical traction with technology patented by scientists at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) Dehradun, announced Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology.

The institute is the first of its kind to develop the capability to convert 1 tonne of broken plastic buckets, mugs, toothpaste tubes, bottle caps and other Polyolefins products into 850 litres of the cleanest grade of diesel, he said.

“I have myself campaigned on the streets of Delhi against pollution and plastic proliferation. Today, I am glad to announce that diesel conforming to Euro-5 specifications in sulphur content has become a reality thanks to the CSIR-IIP & GAIL’s diligence and ingenuity,” said Dr Harshvardhan.

The decision to take up the new technology by the world’s largest railway network, Indian Railways, is an initiative to use
out-of-the-box ideas to reduce India’s carbon footprint, he noted.

“At the inauguration of the Indian Science Congress in Mumbai in January, I had stated our government’s resolve not to be distracted by falling oil prices by continuing to fund R&D into clean energy. I had CSIR-IIP in mind at the time because I was confident that the time when I could announce to the world this amazing news was drawing near. This is the best news yet for the planet this year because henceforth plastic waste will be viewed more as a resource than a nuisance.”

CSIR-IIP, which is part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is currently undertaking several new initiatives in offering solutions to global warming and also it would reduce India’s high dependence on imports and sparing the fossil fuels for the future generations, said the minister.

On jet fuel from Jatropha, he said CSIR-IIP has the knowledge to make jet fuel out of any non-edible oil and “even the waste cooking oil from our kitchens is soon to become prized material in the market.”

Another feather in CSIR-IIP’s cap is the successful project to produce low-carbon jet fuel from the inedible, drought-resistant Jatropha plant. This has already captured the imagination of several
governments worldwide.

CSIR-IIP is currently developing a sweetening catalyst which helps to remove excessive foul smelling mercaptans from LPG and recently 600 Kg of this new material hit the international market, Dr Harsh Vardhan announced.

The minister, who visited the IIP’s campus, inaugurated the Advanced Triblogy Research Centre and was accompanied by Dr M.O.Garg, Director-General of CSIR who is also the Director of the prestigious establishment. Dr Sudeep Kumar, Head, PPD of CSIR and other scientists were also present on the occasion.

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