Indian Railways To Run On Diesel That Used To Be Plastic

AsianScientist (Apr. 22, 2015) – Indian Railways, a rail network operator owned by the government of India, is soon to set up plants to manufacture diesel from plastic with technology patented by scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP).

Announced by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology and CSIR’s Vice President, the move is part of plans to reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“We are the first to have the capability to convert one tonne of broken buckets, mugs, toothpaste tubes, bottle caps and other polyolefins products into 850 liters of the cleanest grade of diesel. This is the best news yet for the planet this year because henceforth plastic waste will be viewed more as a resource than a nuisance,” Vardhan said.

Apart from the plastic-to-diesel technology, CSIR-IIP has developed a method to produce low-carbon jet fuel from the inedible, drought-resistant Jatropha plant.

“We have gone several steps ahead in developing alternative sources of jet fuel. Jatropha apart, CSIR-IIP has the knowledge to make jet fuel out of any non-edible oil—even the waste cooking oil from our kitchens is soon to become prized material in the market,” said Vardhan.

The minister remarked that the advanced training courses run by CSIR-IIP for the Indian hydrocarbon sector has made a major impact on human resource development. He stressed the importance of imparting necessary skills to operate and optimize plant operations at the international level.

“Energy and environment are two side of the same coin,” he pointed out. “I urge our scientists to constantly strive to develop new technologies and products with zero defect and zero effect which can help to produce a higher GDP per unit of energy consumed. India must be at the forefront of fighting climate change.”

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