Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will put up a ‘demo plant’ within the next two years to convert ethanol into a biogas that would be used to run aircraft. The ‘alcohol-to-jet’ (ATJ) fuel plant will also use up its refiner’s grey hydrogen to produce the ethanol.
This was disclosed by IOC’s Director (R&D and Business Development), Dr SSV Ramakumar, at a press conference in Chennai recently. He said this in response to a question on what the refiner would do with the grey hydrogen that its refineries produce, when it shifts to green hydrogen (which is today splitting of water using solar energy).
There would be a lot of demand for biogas for aviation, when the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) emission norms kick-in, in 2027.
Also, there is going to be a huge increase in the demand for ethanol, when the government of India’s mandate for mixing “20 per cent” ethanol with petrol, kicks-in, in 2025.
Ramakumar said that the demand for ethanol would then be about 1,000 crore litres. India today produces 350 crore litres. As such, there is a huge gap of 650 crore litres, for which production capacity needs to come up.