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Thursday, April 26, 2012

By Manoj Kumawat

GM test-runs Tavera successfully on biodiesel…what’s on the cards?

The unwanted fuel ‘price-rise’ issue has again started singing its haunted tunes in the minds of Indian consumers. And this time, it won’t be petrol alone that will be burdened with the hike, but a new entrant in the form of ‘diesel’ is expected accompany it. If the latest proposal by Oil companies comes into existence, than an increase of Rs 10 per litre for petrol is projected, while diesel is still in debate.

Chevrolet Tavera Pictures

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So, is there no proper and permanent alternate to this nightmare? The answer arrives in affirmation with ‘marine microalgal bio-diesel’, which are basically slimy green-algae that are seen in plenty on the western coastline of the nation. This fuel is scientifically named as ‘B100’ marine microalgal biodiesel. The good news is that it has been effectively tested last month on Chevrolet Tavera MUV with its 200kms run on neat B100 biodiesel. Here, Tavera is a vehicle that is powered solely by diesel-run engine.   

Chevrolet Tavera Pictures

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As per General Motors; which is parent to Chevrolet brand, the end result was quite pleasing and it was a vital achievement on the verge of substitute fossil fuel. But the question of the hour is that, will the American auto major put its best foot forward in this advancement and can we expect it to develop first-of-its-kind technology that will act as an ideal alternate to diesel fuel. As of now, query goes unanswered, although it cannot be a coincidence that Tavera was tested on biodiesel, there has to be something that is cooking in the mind of auto giant. This is one of the burning issues of today, and a very crucial one, as fossil fuels are observing diminishing state every passing day; and who knows better about this, than our carmakers.

Chevrolet Tavera Pictures

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This attempt is the outcome of an ambitious program by Scientists of Bhavnagar based Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) that was given this opportunity by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in alliance with Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), which carries an expertise in production of bio-fuel from marine microalgae. As of now, it costs around Rs 175 per litre, however, the scientists reckon that it will come down to Rs 75 per litre or lesser with continuous production and prevailing demand.

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