Issues and Perspectives for Optimal Fuel Mix Selection for Sustainable Mobility in India

By Girish Bajaj, N.S. Murthy and Ashok Dhar.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

PROBLEM RELEVANCE : India’s transport sector is entirely dependent on fossil fuels. Oil Peaking is not very far away. Hence, India must prepare itself to remain mobile and sustain itself even if there is shortage of supplies from outside. With this aim an Optimal Fuel Mix for India for year 2030 has been developed which has a balanced share of renewable and fossil fuels and is feasible for India.

PREMISES : India’s economy is projected to grow at an average of 6% per annum till 2030.The share of alternative fuels in any fuel mix is assumed to be supply constraints. Fuels considered are Gasoline, HSD, CNG, Bio-diesel, Methanol, Ethanol, Hydrogen, Electricity and Solar Power.Also LPG is assumed to be used primarily for domestic purposes and hence not included in analysis. Only road transport has been taken into account for the start.

APPROACH : Various alternative fuels that can replace conventional Diesel and Gasoline are compared quantitatively with a holistic view of their potential towards sustainable mobility for India in future. An Attractiveness Matrix of these fuels is developed after identifying various attributes for sustainable mobility and doing a ‘Vital, Essential & Desirable’ analysis. Trial-and-error procedure is used to develop the Optimal Fuel Mix.

KEY FINDINGS : There is a need for a shift in focus for the country from Diesel to Bio-diesel.The Optimal Fuel Mix has about 50 per cent share of Bio-fuels and can reduce transport sector dependence on imported crude from 80% to about 45%. Share of Hydrogen, Electricity and Solar Power is also substantial. Since the market for Bio-diesel is expected to be a high volume market, government should play a key role in developing bio-diesel market in India. Potential for producing Advanced Bio-fuels like Ethanol from cellulose is large in India.

CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE : Pushing for bio-fuels will inevitably lead to competition between land available for fuel crops and food crops. Some strong policy measures will have to be taken to make the bio-fuels programme a success.

SCOPE FOR FURTHER WORK : Emerging alternative fuels like P-series, Boron etc. can be included to get a more balanced fuel mix.

Keywords: Sustainable Mobility, Optimal Fuel Mix, Automotive Fuels of Future, India : Vision 2030

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.143-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.047MB).

Girish Bajaj

Undergraduate Student, IV Year, B.Tech.,Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

N.S. Murthy

Senior Vice President, Jamnagar Refinery Division, Reliance Industries Limited, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Ashok Dhar

Vice President, Marketing, Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


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