With the Increasing demand for energy resources, the focus world over, has shifted to biofuels. In the Indian context, this issue is more significant considering that almost 70% of India's crude oil requirement is imported, which is expected to increase to 90% by 2030. Consequently, the National Biofuels Policy mandates that 20% of all diesel and petrol demand to be met by using plant-based fuels by 2017. At present, India's biofuel production is not even enough to cater to 5% of the
The success of biofuel technology Is contingent on developing Innovative technologies in production of algal Biofuel, bio-hydrogen, lignocelluloses ethanol etc., which can compete with the existing fuel technologies. In the coming years, the thrust is going to be more on these technologies and with no hesitation biofuel can be referred to as the 'fuel of the future'. These Biofuel have an added advantage of being renewable and eco-friendly.
The biofuels research scenario so far has been on plant based sources like jatropha. This has been the topic of many symposia and conferences throughout India in the recent years. Novel sources for biofuels production like algae and diatoms are at a preliminary stage of research in our country. The potential for commercialization of such technologies is quite high. For instance, the thick green algae can double their mass several times a day and produce 15 times more oil per hectare than the plant based sources like soya and jatropha. Further, the algal fuels do not affect fresh water resources and can be produced using ocean and waste water. These are biodegradable and relatively harmless. Multinational companies like Shell and Cheveron are actively pursuing research aimed at commercialization of algal biofuels technologies.
In this context, the symposium seeks to address these emerging innovations in biofuels technologies. It is hoped that students and researchers attending the symposium will get the necessary exposure and inspiration to pursue research In this field.