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Old 6th April 2004, 12:34   #1
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DaimlerChrysler on Monday announced the launch of the test phase of its biodiesel project in India. This involves running their Mercedes-Benz C-Class car on biodiesel for over 5,000 km.

DaimlerChrysler initiated the biodiesel project in August 2003, in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India and Hohenheim University, Germany.

Flagging off the test-run from their headquarters in Pune, DaimlerChrysler India CEO Hans-Michael Huber said, "Our biodiesel project has been a very successful initiative. The fuel, prepared from extracts of the Jatropha plant, has already been approved through laboratory testing. We now demonstrate the viability of biodiesel as a suitable alternative to conventional fuels, especially in the Indian context. Through this trial-run, we will also conduct further tests for emission properties, power, and drive systems compatibility."

The test car powered by biodiesel travel from Pune, through Bangalore, Cochin, Coimbatore, Chennai and other key southern cities. The vehicle then comes back to Pune and subsequently, sets out for the concluding phase of the test run. In this second phase, the first stop for the team is at Mumbai, followed by Ahmedabad and Jaipur to finally conclude at Delhi.

"The road test will offer valuable findings with respect to the characteristics of biodiesel under demanding terrains and weather conditions," Huber added.

The route has been designed in a manner such that it offers a wide range of driving conditions. The car will travel past the tortuous Western Ghats, across humid coastal areas of Southern India and further, through the dry arid deserts of Rajasthan, past the flats of Gujarat.

DaimlerChrysler launched the biodiesel project with the aim to demonstrate a new model for the production of environment-friendly biodiesel in India and using it as a fuel for the modern automobile. This project focuses on trial operation with biodiesel generated from Jatropha plants cultivated on eroded soils, as well as on the preparations for subsequent usage in internal-combustion engines.

The project is scheduled for five years and will study a number of aspects? conversion of Jatropha oil into Biodiesel, analysis of the biodiesel with a view to its chemical suitability as a fuel, CO2 absorption by the plantations, possible uses for byproducts and estimated income from production. The plantations will further reduce soil erosion caused by wind, and the plant roots will improve water retention. The press cake ? a byproduct of oil extraction ? is an excellent organic fertilizer that will, in turn, contribute to soil improvement. The idea is that the plantations will at a later stage become joint operations of the communities.

The project will also generate valuable findings with regard to wasteland reclamation, rural employment, income generation, and sustainable mobility in remote areas and reduction in CO2 emission.

The biodiesel generated from Jatropha plants boast a particularly favorable cetane number ? an indicator of the ignition quality of diesel fuel.

Article sourced from The Economic Times
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Old 21st April 2004, 23:46   #2
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i saw a report on a news channel the other day abt this bio-diesel project. the car was in chennai and according to reports was running as well as it would if on other fuel.

lets hope that this project goes off well and dc takes steps to save the much abused mumbai air !!!!

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