The Rescuing Fuel

With the constant growth of population and pollution in India and humans becoming victims of poisonous gases, our government is trying to find out new ways to tackle the problem. A new initiative under our government by the NITI Aayog is the transformation of fuel. The major emphasis now is on “Methanol Economy”. In India a large number of vehicles run on hydrocarbon fuels which include diesel, petrol etc. These hydrocarbon fuels adversely affect our environment with the Green House Gas emission. 

As per reports, it is surprising to see that among the 15 most polluted cities in the world, the 14 most polluted cities are located in India. Such severe rate of pollution can take a serious toll on our life and health. Delhi – having a startling rate of pollution has almost 30% of pollution from automobiles, and that actually is a huge number! It is estimated that the vehicle count on the road would increase further thereby exacerbating the scenario. The smoke and virulent gases from factories and industries is adding to the problem. 

To clampdown the complexities, the government is now in search of a fuel that would act as an alternate to other fuels and is of global relevance. To this “Methanol” might serve as a saviour. It is a clean fuel and the emissions are not harmful for both the environment and human health. Methanol happens to be a safe fuel in the sense that one litre of liquid methanol has more hydrogen as compared to a litre of pure cryogenically stored hydrogen. So, the presence of a greater number of Hydrogen atoms would make Methanol a cleaner fuel borrowing its attribute from Hydrogen, which has zero non-toxic emission. The problem with Hydrogen is confined to its production, storage and safety. Emissions from cooking using modes other than the LPG gas cylinders, also poses serious health hazards. An added advantage it is that, Methanol has the capacity to replace transportation as well as cooking fuels. Diesel is widely used in cars, railways, marine sectors and power generation. This results in too much of tainting the atmosphere. 

Methanol Economy is not a new economic structure. It is just a move to replace crude oil used in various sectors with methanol-based fuels. With efficient internal combustion of Methanol based fuels, no particulate matter, no soot and almost nil SOX and NOX emissions are produced. This helps to achieve “Near Zero Pollution”. As a replacement to diesel, the gaseous version of Methanol can be blended with LPG and put to use in large vehicles. Also, Methanol is substantially cheaper than Petrol and Diesel which can again in turn reduce India’s overall fuel cost. 

I think, with the adoption of Methanol based fuel, India can have its own indigenous fuel at a lower cost. Methanol has the potential to bring the down the pollution rate and solve the burning urban pollution issue. We as students of Calcutta Business School should also think of alternate fuels for future as we are the citizens of tomorrow.

Kanchan Sharma

PGDM 2019-20

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