Birsa Agricultural University, Kanke

Bio Diesel from Mosses

Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant fat or even from plants for use in diesel vehicles or any purpose that operates on diesel fuel. Biodiesel’s physical properties are similar to those of ordinary diesel and can be used in internal combustion engines. A primary advantage of biodiesel is that it can improve the capacity to lubricate while used in internal combustion engines as fuel.

The mosses once considered a menace for farmers has now turned into the most demanding commodity for the Municipal Corporation of Ranchi, India. A young engineer in India has been collecting mosses for making Biodiesel out of it and even started a Diesel Fuel station exclusively for selling Biodiesel.
The price for Biodiesel is less by Rs 10 and once mass production is achieved, it would be cheaper The Biodiesel produced here is carbon neutral and eco-friendly. And on an average 5000 litres of diesel sale is recorded. A variety of micro mosses commonly found in ponds and the contaminated waterlogged area is used for the production of Biodiesel along with a small plant Azolla pinnata (a species of fern known by several common names, including mosquito fern, feathered mosquito fern and water velvet) prepared by the Birsa Agricultural University, Kanke, Ranchi in the Indian state of Jharkhand. The Dried and powdered mosses have to be loaded into Boiler. The by-product is useful as fertilizer and the patent of this invention is awaited. Both Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPC) have been in touch with this patent. Even Tata Motors certified this Diesel may increase the efficiency of a vehicle. It is estimated that 100000 litres of Biodiesel can be produced utilising the mosses from a one-hectare area. The mosses can again be cultivated in the same area within 15 days, thus ensuring continuity of production and thus raw material for Bio-Diesel is ensured. The usage of Biodiesel is eco-friendly since emission from this fuel is less.
The new attempt would find a good choice in the waterlogged and coastal areas. Mosses can be cultivated in places having more than 60% humidity, adequate sunlight, water having pH value in the range of 7.5-8.5, around 30degree atmosphere temperature etc. The geographical requirement is best suited for many places in the state of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat etc.
The initial cost of the plant would be around 2500 lakhs INR (3.3 million USD) and the payback period would be low due to heavy demand for Bio Diesel. So far, the product has received a good response from the public.

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