Plant to extract oil from jatropha for bio-diesel

The state department of science and technology is establishing a bio-diesel plant here for extraction of jatropha oil and its conversion into bio-diesel.

The plant, funded by the department of science and technology, Government of India, will be the first government-funded bio-diesel plant in Uttar Pradesh.

Established in the Biotech Networking Facility Center, run by the state's department of science and technology near Bakshi Ka Talab area of Lucknow, the basic aim of the plant will be to train farmers by giving them first hand-experience in bio-diesel production. The facility can also be used by farmers who do large-scale jatropha farming to extract diesel from the oil.

"The plant is not a production unit, but rather a demonstration unit, which will enable farmers to know how to extract jatropha oil and then convert it into diesel for their usage," said BL Meena, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Uttar Pradesh.

Explaining the process of bio-diesel formation, Huma Mustafa, Joint Director, Biotechnology, said that jatropha kernels are crushed to extract oil, which undergoes a process of esterification, reacting with alcohol to form diesel and giving a byproduct of glycerin. "The diesel can be used to run tractors or burn oil lamps, whereas the glycerin can be used or sold by the farmers. The cakes of jatropha left after crushing the kernels are rich in nitrogen and potassium and can be used as bio manure," she said.

The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has granted Rs 24 lakh for the one-time establishment of the plant. The state government has agreed to bear the expenses of running the establishment, including manpower and other infrastructure, she said.

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