Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, recently inaugurated Praj’s cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant near Pune, India. The plant is India’s first integrated bio-refinery, built to showcase Praj’s proprietary process technology to produce ethanol from agricultural waste.
The demonstration plant has the capacity to produce 1 million liters (264,000 gallons US) of ethanol annually from a variety of biomass such as rice and wheat straw, cotton stalks, sugarcane trash, bagasse, corn cobs and stover. Backed by its expertise and experience of well integrated first-generation technologies, Praj is confident that its second-generation ethanol technology will produce ethanol at the lowest cost and GHG emissions.
Praj has invested close to US$30 million for the development of cellulosic ethanol technology over the last seven years. Praj has already signed MoUs with Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd to be their technology partners for certain projects in India.
In the first phase, about 10 to 12 projects based on second-generation ethanol technology are being planned across the country, each with a capital outlay of approximately US$100 million and average capacity of 100,000 liters of ethanol per day.