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Old 12th April 2010, 18:39   #1
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Default GM invests in the development of Jatropha (a biofuel)

Their press release as under. Also including some related threads to know more about Jatropha:

Biofuels - Explained & explored (Biofuels : Explained & explored. Must read for Biodiesel admirers)

Discussion on Alternative Fuels (Alternative Fuel Options !!)

Quote:
General Motors and the US Department of Energy (DOE) have formalized a five-year partnership with India’s Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), which is based in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, to develop jatropha as a sustainable biofuel energy crop.

The goal of the project is to demonstrate that jatropha, a plant traditionally considered a weed, can produce significant quantities of oil for commercial scale conversion to biodiesel. The partnership will also explore the development of new varieties of the plant that have high yields, can withstand adverse environmental conditions.

Jatropha is a drought-resistant, non-edible plant that can be grown commercially with minimal care on marginal land. Unlike corn and sugar cane, which are grown elsewhere for biofuels, jatropha is inedible. As a result, the cultivation of jatropha for biofuel does not negatively impact the food chain.

The new partnership will establish two new farms: a 33 hectare plot in Bhavnagar and a 20-hectare plot in Kalol. It will also oversee GM and CSMCRI’s existing 30-hectare jatropha farm in Bhavnagar.

According to Mr. Karl Slym, President and Managing Director of General Motors India, the tie-up reiterates the company’s commitment to green technology and alternative fuels. “If jatropha proves commercially viable, it will reduce India’s dependence on imported oil while cutting greenhouse gas emissions and promoting economic growth,” he said. “And if jatropha does indeed prove commercially viable, GM India will be ready to respond by introducing biodiesel-capable products.”

Dr. Pushpito Ghosh, Director of CSMCRI, said: “Jatropha is emerging as a promising feedstock choice and alternative fuel source in India. Lab-optimized strains of jatropha, produced through selective and marker-assisted breeding, will be cultivated by our partnership. CSMCRI, under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India will also play an important role in the cultivation of our jatropha plantations. A complete lifecycle analysis will be conducted to evaluate the environmental impact, starting with fertilizer production from raw materials and ending with the harvesting of the jatropha fruit, which contains the oil.”


GM has invested in next-generation ethanol startups Coskata Inc. and Mascoma Corp. to find ways to displace petroleum. In addition to cellulosic ethanol, the DOE and GM recognize the need to provide bio-based diesel alternative fuels that can replace fossil diesel. A significant portion of the global transportation fuel market in places such as India and Europe relies on diesel and cannot benefit from cellulosic ethanol technologies. For these markets, jatropha-based biodiesel has great potential as an alternative fuel.
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Old 12th April 2010, 18:55   #2
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If i remember correctly Merc also had few C Class on India tour, on this Fuel few years back.
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Old 12th April 2010, 18:59   #3
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Great, it looks like GM is the next "D-Company" for India. They can claim spot in top 3 positions in 5 years if remain well focussed after e-spark, e-beat, diesel beat, not sure what to follow.

But on a different note, I had heard some time back that Govt. of India has banned use of biofuels barring military use and the 5% Ethanol use they have permitted, due to anticipated negative long term effects of such fuels on crops.

Mercedes also had started similar initiative on Jatorpha 2-3 years back, but don't know what happened afterwards.
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Old 12th April 2010, 22:45   #4
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Brilliant! I think GM is playing its cards very well in India in the environment game. First the tie up with the Reva Group and now this. They are really doing the right thing here and are setting the example for many to follow. Maruti should have done what GM is doing ages ago.

Keep it coming GM!
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Old 13th April 2010, 09:53   #5
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I remember seeing the Green Merc (on biofuel) when it was on a cross country trial years back. I was excited thinking about the future perspective of the new fuel options. But unfortunately no news came after that.

Hydrogen as an alternate fuel is also a very good option. Wonder whats keeping the government from promoting these alternatives aggressively considering the fact that one major reason for foreign money outflow is import of crude oil. With so much talk going on about Copenhagen and global warming, govt should support hybrids and alternate clean fuels.
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Old 13th April 2010, 12:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by channelv View Post
Hydrogen as an alternate fuel is also a very good option. Wonder whats keeping the government from promoting these alternatives aggressively considering the fact that one major reason for foreign money outflow is import of crude oil. With so much talk going on about Copenhagen and global warming, govt should support hybrids and alternate clean fuels.
All such projects get jammed in red-tapism, bureucracy, politics etc
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