The government of India has been quite vocal about using alternative fuel options. It wants to lower the dependence on natural gases. To set an example, the government is first working on a plan to use methanol for inland water transportation and in army trucks to cut dependence on imported fuel. Methanol is quite economical in the long run. But converting existing vehicles to methanol fuel will require some planning. In today’s article, we will see how the government plans on shifting to methanol. 

Why methanol fuel?

Methanol is a low-carbon, hydrogen carrier fuel produced from agricultural residue, natural gas, CO2 from thermal power plants and high ash coal. Also, methanol fuel is quite cheaper than petrol and ethanol. It is estimated that the cost of gasoline with taxes is Rs 94.40 per litre. The cost of similar amounts of ethanol is Rs 69.9. While the cost of methanol in similar energy terms is Rs 37.6. This shows why the government wants to use methanol in its vehicles. 

Government plan with water transport

The government has initiated talks with Pune-based Deccan Water Treatment Pvt. Ltd. to undertake the process of conversion of diesel engines so that they can run on methanol. Deccan Water Treatment will do this with the help of its Swedish joint partner ScandiNAOS. Niti Ayog has drawn a plan to replace 20% of crude imports with methanol, which will help bring down pollution by more than 40%. 

Future plans

This will be followed by the conversion of army trucks to run on methanol. The government is even thinking about converting diesel rail engines, as India moves towards domestic production of methanol fuel. Apart from cutting  India’s oil bill, the use of methanol is also seen as a way of meeting India’s commitment to the Paris climate committee. 

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