Why bio-CNG is a stubble-burning alternative and protector of clean air

In recent years, the landscape of biofuels in India has undergone significant transformation, with a growing share in overall fuel consumption and bioenergy becoming an integral part of the national energy mix. This surge can be attributed to visionary government mandates, aiming to replace natural gas products, increase blending ratios like E20 and B10, and substitute LPG and CNG with sustainable alternatives like bio-CNG and CBG. Under conservative estimates, this momentum is set to capture around 10 per cent of LPG consumption. Technological advancements driving down manufacturing costs are paving the way for Bio-CNG to emerge as an economically viable and sustainable energy option, highlighting the evolving landscape of biofuels.

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Notably, the entire production of bio-cng takes place within India, eliminating the vulnerability to forex currency fluctuations that import-dependent fossil fuels often face. This inherent domestic production advantage ensures consumers enjoy stable and predictable costs for natural gas products, underscoring the resilience and sustainability of domestically manufactured bio-CNG.

Assumed as cost-effective method

The prevalent issue of stubble burning in India, especially in regions like Punjab and Haryana, adds urgency to the need for sustainable alternatives. Despite regulations prohibiting this practice, farmers resort to stubble burning as a cost-effective method to clear fields for the next crop, releasing harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Approximately 23 million tonnes of stubble are burned annually across northern India, contributing to severe air pollution and health risks.

Against this backdrop, bio-CNG emerges as a green substitute, curbing emissions and promoting sustainable mobility and household cooking. Bio-CNG plants utilise biomass, including agricultural waste, as feedstock, making them an eco-friendly alternative. The benefits of bio-CNG extend beyond emissions reduction, offering a renewable fuel source and transforming waste products into a valuable energy resource.

Bio-CNG plants play a pivotal role in economic growth, creating employment opportunities, especially for local communities. Farmers benefit by generating additional income through the sale of straw stubble to these plants. Moreover, the production process yields organic fertilizer, contributing to sustainable agricultural practices and fostering a circular economy.

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Projects reflecting Govt dedication

India’s commitment to blending targets for various biofuels is evident, with a notable focus on bio-CNG. Initiatives such as financial assistance for bio-CNG plant setups under the National Bioenergy Program, the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT), and the Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) scheme reflect the government’s dedication to the growth of Bio-CNG. Additionally, compulsory blending of compressed biogas, derived from municipal and agricultural waste, in natural gas for automobiles and household kitchens aims to reduce reliance on imports, aligning with net-zero emissions targets by 2070.

The biofuel economy in India is rapidly expanding, with farmers poised to be significant contributors. Their role as primary sources for the production of feedstocks, utilising harvest waste and leftovers, is pivotal. The existing infrastructure and continuous technological advancements position India to efficiently harness its biofuel potential. As the nation strides toward a sustainable, green future, bio-CNG holds the torch for clean air, energy independence, and economic prosperity, exemplifying the synergy between environmental responsibility and economic growth. It’s not just a transition; it’s a revolution that will redefine India’s energy landscape for generations to come.

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