Manas Agro Industries and Infrastructure Limited (MAIIL), domiciled in Nagpur in India’s west-central state of Maharashtra, has reportedly co-developed a process for producing bio-CNG suitable for vehicle applications. The biomethane is generated from sludge that originates from sugar manufacturing.
MAIIL has, according to a report published by The Economic Times’ Energy World, been collaborating with Spectrum Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd of Hyderabad, which is testing the use of this new fuel in commercial vehicles. Bio-CNG is being produced at Warnanagar near Kolhapur.
The renewable natural gas (biomethane) will be produced from molasses and will be stored in cylinder cascades for delivery to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel stations.
Price at the dispenser is in the range of 40 to 45 rupees per kg (about US 1.5 cents). 1 kilogram of the fuel is sufficient for a scooter to travel about 65 kms. Extrapolated, that is about USD 0.23 to travel 1000 kms. By all counts, it is a cheap fuel that produces significantly lower emissions compared to conventional fuels.
Manish Umale, general manager of MAIIL, told Times of India: “Bio-CNG is environment-friendly and the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) has given nod to use biogas as fuel.” The article states that the government now needs to change the rules and infrastructure to allow use of biomethane as fuel.
Umale says MAIIL is planning to set up fuel stations or bio-CNG dispensing units in Nagpur in about 8-9 months.
MAIIL is part of the Purti Group of Companies.