The Research Design Standard Organisation (RDSO), research wing of Indian Railways has approved Jatropha bio-diesel developed by Central Salt Marine & Chemical Research Institute for field trials in locomotives.
“RDSO has cleared Jatropha bio-diesel of CSMCRI for field trials in locomotives. A few more approvals are required and possibly in next 3-4 months we shall commence the trials on two locomotives in Jetalsar,” a Western Railway official said.
Bio-diesel is beneficial and good alternative to traditional fuels because of the ever increasing oil prices which are also volatile to the political turbulence in a country. “Biodiesel is the only advanced biofuel with significant commercial capacity. A feedstock-flexible fuel, biodiesel can be made from any fat, oil or grease, and the already broad range of available feedstock is widening.”1
Jatropha is a drought-resistant perennial, growing well in marginal/poor soil. It is easy to establish, grows relatively quickly and lives, producing seeds for 50 years. It produces seeds with an oil content of 37%. The oil can be combusted as fuel without being refined.
The National Policy on Bio-fuels recommends Bio-diesel production from non-edible oil seeds in wastelands. An indicative target of 20% blending of bio-fuels, both for bio-diesel and bio-ethanol, by 2017 has been proposed.