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Combustion Institute India Calls for Alternative Fuels Research

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Monday, 14 December 2009
Chairman of The Combustion Institute-Indian Section and Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat has called for an intensive search for alternative fuels, and said that any development in the future would be dominated by challenges with new fuels, improved combustion and emission control.

Mr V.K. Saraswat expressed concern that vast industrialisation and urbanisation had resulted in the profound deterioration of our country’s air quality and noted that air pollution in the country was mostly due to vehicular emission and untreated industrial smoke.  Inaugurating the national conference on Internal Combustion Engines and Combustion, Mr. Saraswat underlined the need for the use of biodiesel and hydrogen in automobiles and said that research in these two sectors should be pursued for automobile application, and not remain mere research topics.

He noted that the energy sector in the country was committed to the development of technologies based on renewable energy, such as solar power, solar thermal power, solar photovoltaics, wind power generation and water pumping, biomass combustion, hydropower, geothermal energy for heat applications, power generation from urban, municipal and industrial wastes and tidal power generation. Our country was also dealing with the emerging and new technologies such as chemical sources of energy, fuel cells, alternative fuels for surface transportation and hydrogen energy. He said that there was an urgent need to move away from a fossil fuel-based economy to a hydrogen-oriented economy, by 2030. For this, the challenges lay in production, transport and storage of hydrogen, he said.

Hydrogen was potentially an inexhaustible source of energy and it could be produced from several primary energy sources, Mr. Saraswat said, adding that it would reduce dependence on petroleum imports and had several environmental benefits. He said that detailed deliberations would be held on hydrogen energy utilisation during the three-day national conference.

Principal Scientific Advisor to the Union Government R. Chidambaram said that India had honoured its commitment to mitigate green house gas (GHG) emissions and also to use the available fossil fuelreserves as efficiently as possible. Mr. Chidambaram said that at present Indian vehicle manufacturers depended upon laboratories abroad for combustion studies that were essential for developing engines. This is, he said, expensive and not suitable for an iterative technology development process. If Indian companies were to design and develop power trains, a truly world class combustion centre was needed in India, he said. Shamanur Shivashankarappa, MLA, Vice-Chancellor of Visveswariah Technological University Kincha, conference organising secretary A.M. Nagaraj, vice-president of Bosch, Bangalore, Roger Busch were present.

Alternative Fuels 131209

 

 
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