Atanu Dey On India's Development


An email exchange with Reuben got me thinking about biodiesel. I wrote saying:

I am not sure what ‘biodiesel’ is. I am assuming that it is some sort of oil that is extracted from some plant that is grown for the purpose and which oil can be used to fuel a diesel engine.

The good thing about biodiesel (assuming my conjecture is correct) is that it takes care of the carbon dioxide problem. Growing the plant which produces biodiesel would remove an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere as would be produced from using the diesel in an internal combustion engine. Essentially, it would be a ‘solar-powered’ engine with the plant working as the intermediate stage.

Then I figured that I might as well reduce my level of ignorance. So off to the web I went and found Here are some of the basics:

What is biodiesel?
Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.

How is biodiesel made?
Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves behind two products — methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel) and glycerin (a valuable byproduct usually sold to be used in soaps and other products).

Is Biodiesel the same thing as raw vegetable oil?
No! Fuel-grade biodiesel must be produced to strict industry specifications (ASTM D6751) in order to insure proper performance. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Biodiesel that meets ASTM D6751 and is legally registered with the Environmental Protection Agency is a legal motor fuel for sale and distribution. Raw vegetable oil cannot meet biodiesel fuel specifications, it is not registered with the EPA, and it is not a legal motor fuel.

If India can grow the biomass suitable for biodiesel in marginal agricultural lands, it would be wonderful. Of course, India also needs clean-burning modern diesel engines as well. This can be one of those technologies that create a partnership between the agricultural and manufacturing sectors: the former grows the stuff and provides the latter the induced demand for its output.

NOTE: I don’t have any expertise in biodiesel. So please don’t write a comment asking for information.

  • kauser

    hello sir,I am a B.Sc student I have a idea to do poject on biodiesel&jatropha.can u direct me for that
    1)which types of land is suited for high yield of crop
    2)is there any specific nutrient to get good result
    3)information on agriculture pratice for jatropha
    4)favourable wheather condition and environmental condition

  • Akash Goenka
  • Naresh

    I would like to know from people who are into biodiesel production but not from Jetrobha carcus or any other seeds directly !!
    Please respond.
    Naresh 9819977203

  • Archit Parikh

    i am interested in starting a bio-diesel plant i need full details about this plan and product like , where it can be use, hom mauch land is required, how much fund can involve, where to get jetropa curcus or doing our owns and also such as assistance and funding from govt agencies or banks or any other concerned organizations,i request you kindly provide me with completed details please
    i am eagerly waiting for your valuable information
    Archit Parikh

  • Naresh

    I can show you the practical Biodiesel equipment and supply you the materials etc.
    Returns guaranteed as you are going to see and than decide to proceed.
    Call me 9819977203, Naresh Karnani in Mumbai. (Email:

  • rakesh didwania

    yes. i m interested. pl let me know how to start.

  • Naresh Karnani

    Anyone with chemistry or organics background to be associated with Biodiesel business, kindly contact 9819977203, Naresh, Mumbai. (email:

  • Naresh Karnani


    Conat me in Mumbai 9819977203

  • Chintan Kevalia

    Dear Sir,

    i M MBA student,i m belong to Gujarat with great zeel and fire desire to start business of Bio-diesel, but lack of information about project being big obstacle for me. i will be very thankful to you, if i can get your valueable support.I am also looking for investors. i have already started plantation of jatropa. and we are planning in 20000 hectrs. but i have lack of information of process and machineries.i am requsting you to help me in this project.
    My Contact is

    09860047556 (Pune)
    09824286949 (Gujarat),

  • Tushar Mukherjee

    Dear Sir, We are going to setup a 5TPD integrated BIODIESEL Project in West Bengal.
    We are looking for a direct NRI Investment/Loan for this project. Pls contact…
    Thanks & Regards
    Tushar Mukherjee
    Mob: .+91 943 406 3077

  • Tushar Mukherjee

    Dear Sir, We are going to setup a 5TPD integrated BIODIESEL Project in West Bengal.
    We are looking for a direct NRI Investment/Loan for this project. Pls contact…
    Thanks & Regards
    Tushar Mukherjee
    Mob: .+91 943 406 3077

  • Tushar Mukherjee

    My Email Address is

  • kishore babu

    dear sir,
    iam doing B-tech final year chemical engg.
    i want to do project on plz send datails