Mumbai: Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said the government is considering mandating biofuel from used cooking oil as advanced biofuel which can be blended with biodiesel.
The government has set a target of 20 percent blending of ethanol with gasoline and 5 percent blending of biodiesel with diesel by 2030 under the biofuel policy.
"We have set a target of blending 5 percent of biodiesel with diesel by 2030. But today the biggest challenge is availability of the feedstock. We have recognised the hazards of used cooking oil and also realised that it can be used as feedstock for biodiesel.
"This will help us meet the demand for feedstock to some extent," he said while inaugurating a facility that converts used cooking oil into biodiesel.
The facility at the Midc estate in Nerul, near here is set up by Muenzer Bharat, the local subsidiary of the Austrian clean energy major Muenzer Bioindustrie Gmb, which is the largest player in this segment in the Central Europe. The company was set up in 2016.
Admitting that unlike European nations, we do not have any regulations for used cooking oil (UCO), Pradhan said "we, however, are now taking various measures in this regard and hope that with these initiatives we can generate nearly 2 million tonne of feedstock for biodiesel."
Pradhan also said the government is considering mandating UCO biodiesel as advanced biodiesel.
"The government is currently offering 100 percent offtake guarantee and mandate for advance biofuel. We are also planning to make UCO biodiesel as advanced biofuel. We are also considering mandating certain amount of advanced biofuel in biodiesel blending so that it will help achieve the target," he added.
Muenzer Bioindustrie owner Michael Muenzer said India faces the challenge of reducing its import dependency on fossil fuels and tackling greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our intention to start the facility that entails an investment of nearly Rs 26 crore was to ensure that the hazardous used cooking oil is not just to convert it to biodiesel but will also help reduce India's dependence on imported fossil fuel," he said.
Muenzer Bharat was founded as a subsidiary of the European firm with a clear aim, collecting UCO and converts it to biodiesel.
Muenzer Bharat managing director Sanjay Shrivastaava said if converted used cooking oil, which is currently disposed of via the sewer that clogs the sewage systems, can make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the transport sector.