IIT Kanpur, NSI to jointly establish ‘Centre of Excellence’ for biofuels

The two top class institutions will undertake joint projects aimed at conducting advanced research and developing cutting-edge technology to enhance the production of biofuels in India with greater efficiency and sustainability.

IIT Kanpur and National Sugar Institute, Kanpur (NSI Kanpur), have signed an MoU to establish a ‘Centre of Excellence for Biofuels’ at NSI Kanpur. The signing ceremony was attended by Ashwini Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Sugar) of the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India; Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Director of IIT Kanpur; and Dr. Seema Paroha, Director of NSI Kanpur.

This MoU signifies a collaborative effort between IIT Kanpur and NSI Kanpur to undertake joint projects aimed at conducting advanced research and developing cutting-edge technology to enhance the production of biofuels in India with greater efficiency and sustainability. The research will focus on increasing the production of ethanol, methanol, bio-CNG, aviation fuel, green hydrogen, and other biofuels derived from biomass, a renewable energy source.

Given Uttar Pradesh’s status as an agriculturally rich state and a leading producer of sugarcane, it serves as an ideal location for biofuel research. This partnership seeks to leverage the expertise of both institutions to meet India’s growing energy demands while promoting environmental conservation.

Professor Manindra Agrawal, Director of IIT Kanpu, stated, “The aim is to combine the strengths of both institutions to create a state-of-the-art center to help India take a leadership position in the area of biofuels.”

Dr. Seema Paroha, Director, NSI Kanpur mentioned that under the agreement a dedicated building with a state-of-the-art laboratory, including all requisite equipment, pilot plants, and instruments, will be established for the CoE at the Institute campus. This will initially be funded by the ministry, and moving forward, industrial tie-ups will also be targeted.

Aswani Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Sugar), Government of India, mentioned, “The National Bio-fuel policy, 2018 allows the production of ethanol from various sugarcane-based feedstock as well as the use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol. Under the Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme, the Govt. has fixed the target of 20% blending of ethanol with petrol by 2025. In order to increase the production of ethanol in the country, the Govt. has been promoting maize as a major feedstock for production of ethanol. It is also focusing towards the Waste to Wealth approach by promoting the usage of other by-products of sugarcane.”

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