Hyderabad: Indianoil is setting up a mega ethanol unit in Telangana with an investment of Rs 600 crore. The facility will have 5 lakh litres/day capacity. The dialogue has already been initiated where the government has responded to the proposal and has identified land for the same. After the land is acquired, it will roughly take 18 months for commissioning, said a top official.
Dr SSV Ramakumar, director, R&D, IndianOil, said, “The central government has mandated the usage of 10 per cent of ethanol in the transportation fuel. But currently not more than six per cent of ethanol is being added to the fuel. In view of the non-availability of ethanol to mix with the fuel, IndianOil’s R&D has found new avenues to produce ethanol. Such new avenues of ethanol production are essential since the government has mandated the ethanol mix percentage of 20 per cent by the year 2025.”
“This has led to the development of 2G (second generation) and 3G (third generation) ethanol. The 2G Ethanol comes out of wheat straw, paddy straw and already two major projects are proposed in Telangana and AP,” he added.
The company’s R&D has also found another avenue for ethanol production from carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide footprints from the refinery can be made into ethanol through biotechnology pathway with microbes.
Co2 also can be converted to Omega3 Fatty Acids which commands a huge price in the international markets and in refining the R&D has facilitated the introduction of flexible technology which enables conversion of the products to petrochemicals when the demand for liquid fuels go down, the official noted.