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Russian, Indian scientists to develop project for chemicals and fuel production

NEW DELHI, January 5. /TASS/. Russian and Indian scientists will team up to develop within a 3-year period a project for a bio-refinery for chemicals and fuel production from biomass and to meet the dwindling reserves of crude oil supplies, representatives of the Institute of Catalysis, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Novosibirsk, Russia, and India’s Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) said on Monday at a joint news conference in Coimbatore (south of India).

The Russian Ministry of Science and Education and Indian Ministry for Science and Technology act as co-investors of the unique project of an oil refinery that uses for processing not oil, but cellulose fibre. Of the total investment volume of 37 million rupees (some $600,000) planned for the next 3 years Russia will account for 30 million rupees ($490,000) and India - for 7 million rupees ($110,000).

This joint project aims at the development of scientific bases of an integrated, highly sustainable and energy efficient bio-refinery for the local lignocellulosic (crops/wood) feedstocks. TNAU Rector Dr. K. Ramasamy said increased concern over security of oil supply and the negative impact of fossil fuels on the environment, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, has put pressure on the society to find renewable fuel alternatives.

“India, being a tropical country, receives more than 12 hours of intense sunlight per day, which allows its nature to generate a huge amount of biomass,” Dr. K. Ramasamy said. “This cheap raw material can be successfully used for the production of chemical ingredients and fuel for transport vehicle, and we hope to successfully fulfil this task with the help of Russian colleagues in the near future.”

Representative of the RAS Siberian Branch Institute of Catalysis, Doctor of Chemistry Oksana Taran for her part said that “harmonious work of two countries’ team of specialists will not only make it possible to extract wealth from waste, but also to develop innovative technologies that can highly enrich the Russian and Indian economies.”

The further bilateral scientific exchanges will help the two sides to develop some innovative technologies for getting fuels and chemicals form biomass, they said.