A well-functioning and efficient transport sector is a requirement for economic and social development, bringing people together and enabling the trade and exchange of goods and ideas. However, the transport sector is also responsible for a number of negative social and environmental effects, including a significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. A global shift to a greener, low carbon economy will require significant improvement in the ways in which energy is produced and used. The transport sector uses over a quarter of the world’s energy and is responsible for a comparable share of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. This will require both systemic and more specific technological solutions, such as: smart growth urban planning for fewer motorized trips, increased modal share of non-motorized and public transport, shifting incentives to more efficient and less polluting modes and technologies, and taking advantage of best available and most fuel and energy efficient technologies.
Electric cars were prevalent in early 20th century, when electricity was preferred in automobile propulsion. Advances in internal combustion technology, especially the electric starter, the greater range of gasoline cars, quicker refueling times, and growing petroleum infrastructure, along with the mass production of gasoline vehicles reduced prices of gasoline cars to less than half that of equivalent electric cars, which led to the decline of electric propulsion. The energy crisis of 1970s and 1980s brought a renewed interest in electric vehicles. Further the global economic recession of late 2000s called to abandon the fuel inefficient SUVs, in favor of small cars, hybrid cars and electric cars.Read more
When exploring solutions to lower road transport emissions and improve fuel efficiency, policy makers, industry, and consumers often look to technology that has proven to be cost effective.
The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 is one of the most important and forward looking initiatives undertaken by the Government of India that has the potential to bring about a transformational paradigm shift in the automotive and transportation industry in the country. This is a culmination of a comprehensive collaborative planning for promotion of hybrid and electric mobility in India through a combination of policies aimed at gradually ensuring a vehicle population of about 6-7 million electric/hybrid vehicles in India, along with resultant fuel savings of 2.2 – 2.5 million tonnesby the year 2020.
The 2020 roadmap estimates a cumulative outlay of about Rs.14000 cr. during the span of the scheme, including industry contribution. After the launch of NEMMP-2020 in January 2013, a concrete policy proposal with financial road was prepared so that appropriate policy and financial support in the form of approval of the government as a plan scheme and budgetary provisions are in place. This would ensure that efforts to provide a clean and gasoline free transportation option to the people in a significant manner becomes a reality and our oil import burden is also reduced eventually.
Bio fuels Vehicles
Biofuels have been around as long as cars have. But discoveries of huge petroleum deposits kept gasoline and diesel cheap for decades, and biofuels were largely forgotten. However, with the recent rise in oil prices, along with growing concern about global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, biofuels have been regaining popularity.
Gasoline and diesel are actually ancient biofuels. But they are known as fossil fuels because they are made from decomposed plants and animals that have been buried in the ground for millions of years. Biofuels are similar, except that they're made from plants grown today.Read more
There are various ways of making biofuels, but they generally use chemical reactions, fermentation, and heat to break down the starches, sugars, and other molecules in plants. The leftover products are then refined to produce a fuel that cars can use.
Biofuels in India:
Biofuel development in India centres mainly around the cultivation and processing of Jatropha plant seeds which are very rich in oil (40%). The drivers for this are historic, functional, economic, environmental, moral and political. Jatropha oil has been used in India for several decades as biodiesel for the diesel fuel requirements of remote rural and forest communities.It can be used directly after extraction (i.e. without refining) in diesel generators and engines. Jatropha has the potential to provide economic benefits at the local level since under suitable management it has the potential to grow in dry marginal non-agricultural lands, thereby allowing villagers and farmers to leverage non-farm land for income generation.
National Policy on Biofuel 2008 had targeted the blending of biofuel (ethanol and biodiesel) up to 20 per cent by 2017. Also the report had encouraged the biodiesel plantation on community / government / forest wastelands, while plantation on fertile irrigated lands would not be encouraged.
Bioethanol is an alcohol which is made from plants (biomass). Sugar cane, sugarbeet and cereals (wheat and barley) are the most common sources of the fuel. The production first uses enzyme amylases to convert a feedstock crop into fermentable sugars. Yeast is then added to the 'mash' to ferment the sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide, the liquid fraction being distilled to produce ethanol.
Being a liquid at room temperature, bioethanol can be handled in a similar way to conventional petrol. Bioethanol can be used in spark-ignition engines with little or no modification as a low percentage alcohol-petrol blend ('E10' is 10% ethanol) or as pure alcohol fuel in modified vehicles. In practice, ethanol as it is routinely added to petrol (as a 5% blend) to improve octane ratings and as an oxygenate additive (to reduce carbon monoxide emissions).
Pure bioethanol is difficult to vaporise at low temperatures, so it is usually blended with a small amount of petrol to improve ignition (E85 is a common high percentage blend). Several manufacturers now offer 'Flex-Fuel Vehicles' or 'FFVs', which are able to run on any percentage of bioethanol blend up to E85.
Biodiesel is commercially produced by the 'esterification' of energy crops such as oil seed rape or from waste vegetable and animal oils (from the food industry). The oils are first filtered to remove water and contaminants and are then mixed with an alcohol (usually methanol) and a catalyst. This breaks up the oil molecules before they are separated and purified.
Low percentage biodiesel blends (B5) can be used in place of mineral diesel without any engine modification in many diesel engines (a 'B5' blend is 5% biodiesel mixed with 95% mineral diesel).
While some diesel cars will also run on higher percentage biodiesel blends, their use can degrade rubber products (such as fuel pipes) and clog fuel injectors in certain conditions. To reduce the risk of these problems, users of ester-based biodiesels should ensure the fuel's compliance with established standards. It is governed by ASTM D 6751 quality parameters
Biodiesel fuel burns up to 75% cleaner than diesel fuel made from fossil fuels. Bio diesel substantially reduces unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter in exhaust fumes. Sulphur dioxide emissions are 100% eliminated (bio diesel contains no sulphur). This alternative fuel is plant-based and adds absolutely no CO2 to the atmosphere.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has already evolved a standard (IS-15607) for Bio-diesel (B 100), which is the Indian adaptation of the American Standard ASTM D-6751 and European Standard EN-14214. BIS has also published IS: 2796: 2008 which covers specification for motor gasoline blended with 5% ethanol and motor gasoline blended with 10% ethanol.
Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are good for our economy and our environment. Natural gas, like all vehicle fuels, can be used safely if properly handled. Natural gas actually has safety advantages compared to gasoline and diesel, because it is non-toxic, and will not cause contamination in the event of a release. With a very limited range of flammability, natural gas does not burn in concentrations below about 5 percent or above about 15 percent when mixed with air.Read more
Biogas is formed when organic biodegradable feedstock such as cow dung, poultry litter, other excreta, organic municipal solid waste (MSW), biomass etc. ferments and is degraded by bacteria under anaerobic conditions. Biogas is a mixture of: Methane (CH4 - 50% to 70%), Carbon dioxide (CO2 – 30% to 45%), minor impurities/contaminants comprising of gases such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S – ppm to 3%) and moisture (H2O).
Biogas is Renewable form of Energy. However, when any biodegradable organic matter breaks down anaerobically, it naturally produces biogas which releases methane to the atmosphere. This gas has a very high Global Warming Potential of 21 as compared to 1 for carbon dioxide and contributes significantly to climate change and pollution. If biogas is fermented, a process often referred to as biomethanation, in digester under controlled conditions, it can be utilized for various purposes such as heating and cooling, generation of power and production of biomethane, which when compressed is also referred to as bioCNG. Biogas formed in a biomethane digester is stored in a gas holder or balloon. The biogas is thereafter purified where carbon dioxide, moisture and other minor gaseous impurities are removed. The purified biogas is fed to the compressor where it is compressed and filled into cylinders. This gas is called compressed biomethane or BioCNG.
There exists a simple and effective way for producing CNG vehicle fuel. Biogas is piped to the processing system from a landfill or anaerobic digester. Then hydrogen sulfide, moisture, siloxanes, volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide are removed. Finally, the product gas is piped to a vehicle fueling system for use as fuel in CNG vehicles. Bio-CNG has all the benefits of CNG but, in addition, it is a renewable fuel and complements energy security of the nation. It is a highly decentralized industry which can provide employment in the rural area and lead to its economic development.
Potential in India: Any significant sources of biodegradable organic matter can be used to produce BioCNG. It has been estimated that in India has the highest population of cattle in India. If cattle dung is properly collected, on a realistic basis, and used efficiently, BioCNG produced can possibly replace more than 4.0 mill. T of LPG per year.
Skilling needs: The shift from a diesel-based mass transport system to CNG involves engine modifications, and requires an increase in two types of employment: filling station attendants and mechanics. In India, currently the skills gap is more for mechanics, with a shortage of authorized service centres. Building technical capacity will be essential. The demand for bio-fuel and bio CNG trained mechanics will rise dramatically, as will the need for quality training institutions. In the absence of formal training, non-formal training arrangements are evident, where mechanics trained in diesel engines pick up the knowledge relating to CNG engines through on-the-job training as they work alongside formally trained mechanics.