Bhubaneswar: In a major move, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology are coming together to develop, establish and promote rice straw based bio-fuel production in the state. The large acreage and production of rice in the state has provided ample of opportunities to excel in promotion of rice straw based bio-fuel production.
Odisha is the secondary origin of Rice. Being the staple food, rice is growing in all the agro-climatic zones of the state. At present, we have the annual rice production of 85 lakh tonnes with approximate production of 100 lakh tonnes of rice straw. Except use as folder and few domestic purposes, there is almost no economic utilization of rice straw. Now, it has become a prime necessity to think of alternative economic utilization of rice straw.
BPCL has come forward on technology partnership with OUAT for effective utilization of rice straw for bio-fuel production in a bio-chemical enzymatic process with financial support of Rs 5 crore. Out of the total budget allocation, Rs 2 Crore will be used as a corpus for BPCL chair and Rs 3 crore as research contingency for development, establishment and popularization of the bio-fuel production technology. This endeavour is in line with the policy decision for supplementation of 10% straw based ethanol for increasing fuel efficiency and reducing the pressure on fossil fuel.
For the purpose, a special function was organized at OUAT on 24th December, 2017 to sign the Memorandum of Agreement. Sj. Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister, Petroleum & Natural Gas and skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt of India graced the occasion as Chief Guest with Dr Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary, Dept. of Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour. Mr R. Ramachandran, Director Refineries, BPCL attended as Special Guest of the function. The meeting was presided over by Prof S Pasupalak, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of OUAT. Faculties, scientists, officials & students of OUAT and officials of BPCL, state Govt. and ICAR institutes are participated in the meeting.