Cassava: Feedstock for Bioethanol Production

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) have found CASSAVA as a raw material for bioethanol production to meet Ethanol Blending Petrol (EBP) programme target of 2025 by India.

Key Points

  • As a biofuel crop, cassava has several advantages over sugarcane.
  • Cassava is having a high starch content and ability to grow under low management conditions. It has been globally recognised as a potential candidate for bioethanol production.
  • However, economic viability to scale-up production from cassava varieties has to be ascertained because of failure of an alcohol plant set up in Palakkad in 1990s.

Pas biofuel crop

Its starch is having a unique physicochemical and functional properties which finds extensive applications in food and industrial sectors. Agricultural residues of cassava like peels, stems and leaves are the potential feedstock for 2G bioethanol production.

Production of Cassava in India

Cassava, also known as Tapioca, production in India is estimated to be 4.98 million tonnes. Tamil Nadu, followed by Kerala accounts for major amount of production. Its cultivation is also extending towards non-traditional areas like Maharashtra in order to meet projected demand for starch.

National Policy on Biofuels 2018

This policy ensures the availability of biofuels to meet demand of 20 per cent ethanol produced from molasses, sugarcane juices & biomass in form of grasses & agricultural residues, sugar-containing materials like sugar beet, & sweet sorghum or starch-containing materials like rotten potatoes, corn, cassava, and damaged food grains.  India has a target to produce 1,016 crore litres of ethanol for its blending programmes.

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