B100 Microalgal Diesel

Recently, India witnessed the first test run of vehicle running on B100 marine microalgal biodiesel in New Delhi. Unlike other biodiesels, which are a mixture of conventional diesel, the B100 biodiesel is 100 per cent extract from the microalgae. With this, the extract of the slimy green algae found in abundance across India’s 7,517 km coastline is all set to fuel vehicles. In 2011, scientists achieved an important milestone in cleaner fuels when a regular diesel vehicle (TAVERA) running on B20 biodiesel prepared from marine microalgae was successfully test-driven. At present, the cost of the microalgal biodiesel comes out to be Rs 175 per litre. However, scientists are optimistic that the prices could come down to as much as Rs 75 per litre if more advanced extraction technologies are used and more algae are discovered.

The B100 biodiesel was successfully developed by scientists in a salt farm in Bhavnagar, under an ambitious project ‘New Millennium India Technology Leadership Initiative’ (NMITLI) to bring out a viable and scalable process of biofuel from microalgae, initiated in April 2010 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the ministry of earth sciences (MoES).