IIT Kanpur and NSI Partner to Launch Biofuels Center of Excellence

Collaboration Aims to Boost Biofuel Production and Reduce Reliance on Fossil Fuels in India

In a move aimed at boosting India’s biofuel production and reducing reliance on fossil fuels, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) and the National Sugar Institute, Kanpur (NSI Kanpur) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 15th to establish a Centre of Excellence for Biofuels.

The signing ceremony, witnessed by dignitaries including Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Director of IIT Kanpur, Dr. Seema Paroha, Director of NSI Kanpur, and Shri Ashwini Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Sugar) for the Government of India, marks a significant step towards developing advanced biofuels and sustainable energy solutions.

Joint Research for Sustainable Future

The collaboration will see IIT Kanpur and NSI Kanpur engage in joint research projects focused on developing cutting-edge technologies to enhance biofuel production. Their efforts will target improved efficiency, sustainability, and the creation of next-generation biofuels like ethanol, methanol, bio-CNG, aviation biofuels, and green hydrogen.

Leveraging Expertise for Leadership

“NSI Kanpur brings over 60 years of experience in this field, with a deep understanding of market dynamics and technological needs,” said Prof. Agrawal. “IIT Kanpur, meanwhile, offers expertise in fundamental science and related technologies. Combining these strengths will create a state-of-the-art center, propelling India to a leadership position in biofuels.”

Government Support for Biofuel Policy

The Indian government’s National Bio-fuel Policy (2018) and the Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme were highlighted by Shri Srivastava. He emphasized the government’s goal of achieving a 20% ethanol-petrol blend by 2025 and promoting the use of maize and sugarcane-based feedstock for ethanol production.

Long-Term Vision and State-of-the-Art Facilities

Dr. Paroha outlined the MoU’s long-term vision, which includes establishing a dedicated building with advanced laboratories, pilot plants, and equipment at the NSI Kanpur campus. This initial investment from the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution will be supplemented by future industrial partnerships.

Securing Energy Future and Environmental Benefits

The Centre of Excellence is expected to play a crucial role in India’s energy security and environmental sustainability. By developing innovative technologies, optimizing processes, and establishing pilot projects, the center will contribute to:

  • Enhanced production of advanced, sustainable biofuels
  • Reduced dependence on fossil fuels and crude oil imports
  • Minimized CO2 emissions and climate protection

The collaboration between IIT Kanpur and NSI Kanpur signifies a significant step towards a cleaner and more secure energy future for India.