Researchers at IIT-Kharagpur have developed clean fuel out of chatai (mat), using the microwave. Chatai is the new source of ethanol and diesel.
“There is an urgency to replace fossil fuels like petrol and diesel that are direct causes of pollution, global warming and climate change. Acres are being allocated for solar and wind energy; hydel power and geothermal projects have been deployed. But India’s fossil fuel import bill still runs high due to non-availability of renewable energy sources on a large scale,” said professor Saikat Chakraborty, lead researcher and faculty at the department of Chemical Engineering and P K Sinha Centre for Bioenergy at IIT-Kharagpur.
He has used sunn hemp, the non-toxic annual cover crop, to make bio-fuel. In what is being called a “kitchen to cosmos” effort, Chakraborty and his team have used microwave for mass use of hemp bio-fuel by tapping the radiation to create clean energy.
“The research gives the hemp’s chemical composition the necessary stability for conversion and deployment as liquid bio-fuels, which can be used for large-scale production by the transport industry,” said Chakraborty.