India’s first biofuel powered flight undertakes maiden voyage

Biofuel technology developed indigenously by CSIR a game changer : Dr. Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi, August 28, 2018 :  A historic flight powered by indigenously produced aviation biofuel based on patented technology of CSIR-IIP Dehradun was flagged off today from Dehradun airport by Uttarakhand CM Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat. The Spicejet flight, featuring a latest generation Q400 aircraft powered by, was received at Delhi airport by Union Ministers  Nitin Gadkari, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Dharmendra Pradhan, Suresh Prabhu and Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister, S & Tand Vice President, CSIR on the occasion said that it is a historic day and the biofuel technology is going to be a game changer as the Biojet fuel is greenhouse gas neutral, carbon neutral, reduces air pollution and to cap it ,it would bring down import bill on crude oil.“Commercialization of biofuel promises large-scale employment avenues both in formal and informal sector”, said Dr. Vardhan.

The genesis of this development goes back several years to an Indo-Canadian consortium project from 2010 to 2013 involving CSIR-IIP, Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, IIT Kanpur and IISc Bangalore, in which research was directed towards the production of Bio-aviation fuel by CSIR-IIP from jatropha oil and its evaluation under various conditions, culminating in a detailed engine test by Pratt and Whitney in Canada that showed fitness for purpose.

Spicejet – as the lead organization for the demonstration flight – and Chhattisgarh Biofuel Development Authority- the supplier of the jatropha oil for the flight, sourced from over 500 farmers, received considerable policy and regulatory support from the MOPNG Working Group on Biofuels and the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) in making this flight happen.

With this maiden flight India joins the exclusive club of nations using biofuel in aviation.The use of bio jet fuel, apart from reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 15 percent and sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions by over 99 percent, is expected to provide indigenous jet fuel supply security, possible cost savings as feed stock availability at farm level scales up, superior engine performance and reduced maintenance cost for the airline operators.

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