Nano grain-based ethanol unit opened at NSI

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Source : NSI | 09 Nov, 2020 | 05:59 PM

Kanpur: A nano grain-based ethanol unit, installed at the National Sugar Institute-Kanpur, was inaugurated by the vice-chancellor of the Harcourt Butler Technological University, Kanpur on Thursday.

This unit is integrated with existing molasses-based ethanol unit and thus now the system would be ‘Multi Feed Stock Based Ethanol Unit’ capable of working on different qualities of molasses and various grains — rice, maize, millets and sorghum — the sugar institute stated in a statement.

Congratulating the NSI, VC HBTU, Kanpur, Dr NB Singh lauding the efforts said, “The facilities shall be helpful in effective teaching and training and the students shall develop confidence once they work with their own hands and operate various units used in ethanol production.”

Director, NSI, Kanpur Prof Narendra Mohan, while elaborating the importance of the unit, said, “With the growing demand of ethanol for ethanol blending in petrol which is estimated to be about 360 crore litres per annum at present at 10% blending, the conventional route of using molasses from sugar factories for ethanol production is not adequate and use of alternate feed stocks through which ethanol can be produced at reasonable rates is inevitable.”

Thus, the deteriorated grains, rice and corn in particular, which are not fit for human consumption may be used for ethanol production without inviting a debate on ‘food vs fuel’.

“This will do two goods: one, the ethanol availability will increase and distilleries will work for more days resulting in better capacity utilization; secondly, the farmers will get a new market for selling the produce at better prices. We have proposed this concept of setting of ‘Multi Feed Stock Based Ethanol Units or Smart Ethanol Units’ to the government,” Prof Mohan said.

Thus, to showcase installation of such ethanol units to the industry and also to provide competent manpower to the industry, this unit has been commissioned with the help of M/s ISGEC Heavy Engineering limited at an expenditure of about Rs 75 lakhs,the NSI director said.

NSI is the only sugar institute in the world to have such ‘Multi Feed Stock Based or Smart Ethanol Unit’ for teaching and training purposes. Once the working normalizes, we shall also conduct short duration training programmes added Prof. Mohan.