Sugarcane Residue May Be a Sweet Source of Biomethane for Indian Fleets

| India, Pune

Methane extracted from sugarcane residue and converted into bio-CNG (biomethane or renewable natural gas) is available in India but is not recognised as a vehicle fuel by India’s Ministry for Road Transport and Highways. Now the Ministry is considering a proposal seeking permission to conduct tests on commercial vehicles running on the sugarcane-derived energy source, reports Times of India. Spectrum Renewable Energy and the Warna Group (sugar processing), prompted by the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), have reportedly submitted a proposal to conduct large-scale tests.

If approved quickly, production could commence as early as April this year, with fuel generated from the sugarcane ‘mud’ to be used by the Warna Group for running vehicles. The report says that based on current production figures 9 200 kgs of bio-CNG can be recovered from 12,000 cubic meter of biogas.

In a separate report carried by India’s Business Standard, MNRE has proposed 20 processing plants ranging from 500 m3 to 10 000 m3 per day to extract and produce biomethane from sugarcane residue. At present, two such plants are in operation — in Maharashtra (500 m3/day capacity) and Punjab (1 000 m3/day capacity).

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