Multilateral lending agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $ 2.5 million (about Rs 18 crore) technical assistance to support advanced biofuel development in India. The grant is funded from the Asia Clean Energy Fund, financed by the Government of Japan under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility, and the Republic of Korea’s e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund.
In a statement, ADB said the technical assistance (TA) will support development of advanced bioethanol, bio-compressed natural gas, and biodiesel plants to demonstrate the best practices for suitable feedstock, efficient conversion technology, and sustainable biofuel value chain.
It will also support incorporating gender main-streaming design in the feedstock value chain to promote the empowerment of rural women in agriculture.
Using novel technology, advanced (or second-generation) biofuels could be produced from non-edible sources like agricultural residue, municipal solid waste, and used cooking oil. They can be used as bioethanol, biogas, and biodiesel for energy, transport, manufacturing, and medical purposes.
“This renewable energy will lower net greenhouse gas emission without threatening food security. India has a massive amount of wastes, but crop burning causes severe air pollution. If agricultural waste can be collected effectively as feedstock for biofuels, its sales will be able to supplement rural farmers’ income and negate the need to burn crop waste,” the statement said.
The advanced biofuels can provide simultaneous solutions to address energy security, waste recycling, climate change, and air pollution reduction.
ADB Finance said that the agency supports the government of India’s National Policy on Biofuels established in 2018 to promote advanced biofuel market, which will harness waste, strengthen energy independence, create new industries and jobs, and mitigate global warming.
To boost advanced biofuel investments, ADB will collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the Oil Industry Development Board, and public financial institutions, such as the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.