Gautam and Raghvendra Gautam

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of Mechanical Engineering

Technological University,Delhi

Abstract: Indian economy has
registered an unprecedented growth since 1992 and its energy demands continue
to grow with India and Japan vying for the position of third biggest energy
consumer after Unites States of America and China. But with most of these
energy requirements being fulfilled by fossil fuels and India not possessing
any significant resources of crude oil, around 80% of the needed petroleum is
imported which drains the nation of much needed foreign exchange. So, a programme
to develop indigenous energy resources to meet our needs has to be developed
and biodiesel can be the answer to India’s problem with the central government
also recognizing this.




 Overall petroleum import bill of India, including cargo
of of both crude oil and petroleum products, rose 9 per cent last
financial year to $ 80.3 billion. This was a result of a seven percent rise in
volumes and a three percent increase in the average crude price. Imports of crude
oil soared by more than five percent to 213 metric tonne (MT) and the crude oil
import expenditure increased by more than nine percent to $70 billion last
fiscal as compared to $64 billion recorded in 2015-2016.
Increase in India’s petroleum products by volume
was 22 percent last fiscal year to 36 MT from 29.5 MT in 2015-2016. 

Altogether, the country imported about 249 million metric
tonnes (MMT) of crude and petroleum products during 2016-2017,is equivalent to a
seven percent growth over 232 MT imported in previous fiscal year.
The Indian basket of crude consists of the
following composition- 71 per cent of Oman and Dubai grades and 29 per cent of
dated Brent ,according to data published by Petroleum Planning and Analysis
Cell (PPAC) which is the oil ministry’s technical division.
According to data available on PPAC, production of
petroleum products – including petrol, diesel and LPG from indigenous crude
fell one percent to 34.7 million tonne (MT) last fiscal year from 35.2 MT in
2015-2016, while the country’s utilization of petroleum product registered a
five percent increase to 194 MMT. The nation’s self-reliance in petroleum
products decreased from 22 percent in 2013-2014 to 18 percent in 2016-2017 because
of the twin factors of strong consumption growth as well as dwindling domestic
Import dependency of India on foreign crude grew
even more to 82 percent in 2016-2017 from 81 percent a year ago. Import
dependence stood at 77.6 percent in 2013-2014.




energy security favours the adoption of 20% diesel blending with Jatropha biodiesel
(B20) as current import reliance of crude stands on 80%. According to the
Planning Commission (2003), as much as 13.4 million hectares of waste land in
India can be used for Jatropha plantations. The initiative by the Indian government
to promote the plantations of Jatropha saplings under National Rural Employment
Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is a sincere move towards integrating cultivation of
Jatropha and energy production. In India, researchers have observed that
Jatropha biodiesel and its blends with diesel can be used in existing diesel
engines without any modifications (Banapurmath et al. 2008; Sahoo and Das 2009;
Sahoo et al. 2009; Kumar et al. 2012a). In the longer run, the economic
sustainability of Jatropha biodiesel will definitely prove to be the best bet
for India as far as the economic viability of biodiesel with respect to diesel
is concerned (Kumar et al. 2008c). With rapid increase in population in
Asia, arable land area is decreasing and it is already only 0.1 hectare per
person, on average, in several densely populated countries, which means that it
cannot be used for biofuel plantations. Establishing biofuel plantations like
Jatropha on degraded soils can be a win-win strategy provided that these soils
are adequately restored and specific problems (e.g., nutrient and water
imbalance, loss of top soil, shallow rooting depth, drought stress,
salinization, compaction, crusting) alleviated. Considering households, the
average energy requirements per capita is 20% less in rural areas compared to
urban areas (Pachauri 2004). It is obvious that a significant rise in energy
consumption is expected from the improvement of living condition standards and
population increase (Parikh and Lior 2009). Rural bioenergy is still the
predominant form of energy used by people in India. Thus, meeting income
generation and irrigation management through renewable sources provide a large
potential for sustainable development. In rural areas, particularly in remote
locations, the distribution of energy generated from fossil fuels can be
difficult and expensive. Renewable energy can facilitate economic and social
development in communities if projects of sustainable development are
intelligently designed and carefully executed with local inputs and
cooperation. In poor areas, the renewable energy projects would absorb a
significant part of participants’ small incomes. Investigations in this
direction have been based on the following concepts namely: renewable energy
sources can be replenished in a short period of time and it is clean, i.e., it
produces lower or negligible levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants
when compared with the conventional energy sources they replace (Demirbas and
Demirbas 2007). One of the major synergic effects on the economic return of a
state investment in biodiesel would be the availability of facilities for power
generation in close proximity to the area of biomass production. Such
structural investments can result in manifold increase in employment
opportunities.190 man days of employment in the first year and 114 man days in
the second year per hectare for poor people living in rural areas may prove to
be a potential source of income generation. Considering the average man days
for first and second year for 150 days employability in a year, Jatropha
cultivation on 13.4 million hectares of wasteland will result in 300 days/year
employment for roughly 6.5 million people through social schemes of Government
of India, such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes (NREGS) for
people of rural areas. Because of the uneven distribution of wealth and the
large population size, India is passing through social unrest in many parts of
the country leading to large scale violence in many forms. The creation and
development of such local opportunities in poor rural areas would also help in
relaxing social unrest due to poverty.




took initiatives on biofuels nearly a decade ago to reduce its dependence on
oil imports and improve energy security. A 5% ethanol blending pilot program
was started in 2001 and a National Mission on Biodiesel was developed in 2003
to achieve 20% biodiesel blends by 2011–2012. Like various other nations around
the world, India has endured setbacks in its biofuel program due to supply
shortages, sharp fluctuations in oil prices and global concerns over food
security. Its National Policy on Biofuels, adopted in December 2009, proposed a
non-mandatory blending target of 20% for both biodiesel and ethanol by 2017.
The formulation of the National Mission on Biodiesel in 2003 was the first step
for developing biodiesel program in India. The program called for mandatory 20%
biodiesel blending by 2011–2012, with jatropha curcas as the primary feedstock.
Jatropha, a small shrub that grows on degraded land and produces nonedible
oilseeds, can be used to manufacture biodiesel. Among the 400 nonedible oilseed
crops found in India, jatropha was selected for the program because of its high
oil content (40% by weight) and low gestation period (23 years) compared with
other oilseed crops (GOI 2003). To meet the 20% blending target, the recommendation
was to cultivate jatropha on 17.4 million hectares (ha) of underused and
degraded lands. The biodiesel program was to be implemented in two phases: a
research and demonstration phase from 2003 to 2007 (Phase I) and an
implementation phase from 2007 to 2012 (Phase II). The main goals of Phase I
were to cultivate 400,000 hectares of land, establish a research network of 42
public universities, and achieve a 5% blending target. Under Phase II, a 20%
blending target would be achieved by 2011–2012. To support the program, the
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas ratified the National Biodiesel Purchase
Policy and set a price of Rs25.00 per liter, subject to periodic review,
effective 1 November 2006. The ministry designated 20 oil marketing companies
(OMCs) in 12 states as purchase centers. The buyback program remains in effect,
but the purchase price was raised to Rs26.50 per liter in October 2008.
Although the biodiesel blending targets were not codified, interest in jatropha
accelerated after the introduction of the National Mission on Biodiesel. India
was the world’s leading jatropha cultivator in 2008, controlling about 45%
(407,000 ha) of the global cultivation area (about 900,000 ha) in 2008. More
recent estimates show an increase cultivation area in India to 900,000 ha in
2011. Further, the 11th Five-Year Plan recommended a blending target of 5%
biodiesel by the end of 2012, a significant reduction from the 20% target
proposed under the National Mission on Biodiesel. In September 2008, the
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy resumed discussions on biodiesel and
issued a draft National Biofuels Policy. The policy proposes the establishment
of a national registry of feedstock availability to help monitor production
potential and set blending targets. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is
tasked with implementing the policy. Two new committees—the National Biofuel
Coordination Committee under the prime minister, and the Biofuel Steering
Committee under the cabinet secretary—have been formed to coordinate and
implement the policy.




economics of Jatropha plantation cost per hectare, per plant and the cost per
Jatropha plant Rs. 6.00 under rainfed condition as shown in Table 1.


Table 1: Economics of Jatropha plantation



 Cost (Rs)

Site preparation –10


 Alignment and staking-5MD


 Digging of pits (2500 Nos.)


 Cost of FYM (2 kg per pits)


 Cost of fertilizer at Rs 6 per kg (50 gm per


 Mixing of FYM, insecticides and refilling
pits at 100 per pit


 Planting and replanting cost 100 plants per


 Irrigation- 3 irrigation


 Wedding and soil working


 Plant protection measure


 Sub total


Contingencies at 10%




Cost per plant



economics of Jatropha oil extraction from Central Institute of Agricultural
Engineering (CIAE) mini oil expeller as shown in Table 2

Table 2: Economics of jatropha oil extraction






(A)Fixed cost

a) Machine cost:




i) Power operated cleaner cum grader having
capacity 150 kg/h




ii) Dehuller with 1 Hp motor having about 100
kg/h capacity




iii) Flanking unit




v) Oil filter press




v) Weighing scale, 100 kg capacity




vi) Pretreatment of seed




vii) Oil expeller








viii) Housing, furniture 5%








ix) Salvage 10%








Total per month




(B) Labor cost:

i) Skilled operator




ii) Helper




Total per month




c) Electricity cost per month:




Total Fixed cost (a+b+c)




B) Variable cost




a) Seed cost




b) Miscellaneous 1%




c) Interest 2%




Total Variable cost (a+b+c)




Total cost (A+B)




(C) Material cost

i) Oil cake per month




ii) Hull per month








D) Total less byproduct cost (A+B)-C




Oil cost per kg (D/seed weight)





Assumptions: Capacity of the oil expeller was 100
kg/h of Jatropha , Power requirement 20 horsepower motor, Operation per day 12
hour, Production of oil cake 60 kg, oil 24 kg, hull 15 kg, 1 kg waste, Sale
price of oil cake Rs 2/kg, and hull Rs 1/kg



Further treatment of Jatropha oil
into biodiesel by single stage transesterification process by using KOH and
ethanol carries some more costs like a processing machine with a capacity of
200L/day of Rs. 50,000 and all the variable costs like catalysts, electricity, labor
and machine maintenance coming out to be about Rs. 8000.

Therefore, the total investment for
the plantation for producing biodiesel per hectare comes out to  be =  Rs.
2,54,780.325 (14,300+1,82,480.325+58,000)

Now, this amount is equivalent to
4005 USD.


1 hectare of biodiesel cultivation
yields about 7 tonnes of seeds per year. The oil pressed from 4 kg of seeds is
needed to make 1 litre of biodiesel which puts the yearly yield to about 1750
litres. 1 barrel of crude oil is about 159 litres in volume, so one hectare of
Jatropha plantation can produce about 11 barrels of biodiesel

The amount of biodiesel that can be generated
form one hectare comes out to be around 1750 litres which is roughly around 11


in India about 142 million hectares of land is under agriculture. It will be
reasonable to assume that farmers will like to put a hedge around 30 million
hectares of their fields for protection of their crops. It will amount to 3.0
million hectares (notional) of Jatropha curcas plantation. Using Jatropha as a fencing plant only,3 million
hectares can potentially produce 33 million barrels of biodiesel per year.
After this start, plantation to rehabilitate 13.5 million hectares wastelands
can also be carried out further providing impetus to indigenous biodiesel
production. India’s imports of crude oil in December 2016 were 4038000 per day
which makes our recent consumption to about 1.5 billion barrels per year.

So, from
the above figures it can be seen that by planting Jatropha as hedge only, we
can start the process effectively to reduce our dependence on imported energy
resources. If the possibility to explore plantation of Jatropha on wastelands
is explored, then the potential production can touch 150 million barrels a year
which is more than sufficient to cover the energy needs of rural areas
effectively and to cover the existing blending targets.

coming to the economic factors, we currently spend about $70 billion in
importing crude oil. The initial investment costs as seen is about $4000 per
hectare in case of Jatropha plantations. 3 million hectares of land can be planted
with Jatropha just as a hedge around the food crops on cultivable land without
any special measures in India and good yields can be obtained in a short time
as well as the plantation land would be fertile. The total investment required
for this measure would be around $12 billion to sow, extract oil from the crop
and then process it into biodiesel which would give a yield of approximately 33
million oil barrels per year. With plans to rehabilitate wastelands through
Jatropha, various corporates can be attracted to make this investment which
would also result in the creation of jobs in the processing plants in the rural
areas itself. With the creation of jobs in the rural areas, more citizens can
be brought into the taxpayers’ bracket, thus increasing government’s revenue.






can be effectively explored as a means to alleviate economic distress faced by
India by the import of crude oil. India’s energy demand is set to increase
sharply in the future which makes this measure more necessary. Planting
Jatropha as a hedge to various food crops can be good way to ensure that the
yields are high from the first year itself. The investment required to
kickstart biodiesel production is surely substantial and the government will
have to be pro-active to interest the farmers in planting Jatropha. But, the
returns can be expected to be extremely fulfilling with our rural communities
becoming self-sufficient. Moreover, the savings can be directed to the
education sector, even for research purposes alone so that continuous ways to
make biodiesel more efficient are investigated to reap more benefits in the




C. Sasikumar, K. Balamurugan, S. Rajendran, S. Naveenkumar. (2016) Process Parameter
Optimization in Jatropha Methyl Ester Yield Using Taguchi Technique. Materials and Manufacturing Processes 31:6,
pages 701-706. 

Rupam Kataki, Neonjyoti Bordoloi, Ruprekha Saikia, Debasish Sut, Rumi Narzari, Lina Gogoi, Rahul S. Chutia. 2017. An Assessment on Indian Government Initiatives and
Policies for the Promotion of Biofuels Implementation, and Commercialization
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Carol Hunsberger. (2014) Jatropha as a biofuel crop
and the economy of appearances: experiences from Kenya. Review of African Political Economy 41:140,
pages 216-231. 

Raphael M. Jingura, Reckson Kamusoko. (2017) Technical Options for Valorisation of Jatropha
Press-Cake: A Review. Waste and Biomass
Valorization 62. 

Siti Roshana Azahari, Bidita Binte Salahuddin, Nur Ajeerah Mohd Noh, Rabiah Nizah, Suraya Abdul Rashid. (2016) Physico-chemical and
emission characterization of emulsified biodiesel/diesel blends. Biofuels 7:4, pages 337-343. 

6.   Santhosh Poojary, C. Vaman Rao, Kamath H. Venkatesh. (2017) Scleropyrum pentandrum(Dennst.) mabb—oil as a
feedstock for biodiesel production—engine performance and emission studies. International Journal of Green Energy 14:3,
pages 279-288. 

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