Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: A pilot project for production of methanol from coal, to cut oil import costs and reduce pollution through alternative fuels, will be set up in Talcher by the Central Government.
Earlier on Monday, the need for clean fuel that can substitute fossil fuels, cut import cost and is cheap was stressed by Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in a high level meeting on bio-fuels and methanol. Many experts including NITI Aayog Member V.K. Saraswat who has been working on methanol-based fuel research were present in the meeting.
According to sources, the technology for making methanol from coal has not been commercially established in India. Methanol is a promising fuel also used in the West as well as China, but it is expensive for India to import gas.
India is presently importing methanol from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Indigenous production at present is very low as it is not cost effective due to import cost of natural gas. The best option is making methanol from coal.
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog is working on a roadmap for manufacturing methanol which can also be made from municipal solid waste.