The day of Oct 5th, 2018 is a historic day for India, Northeast and Assam Petro-chemicals, a state-owned company for launching Asia’s first cannisters based and India’s first “Methanol Cooking Fuel Program”.
Methanol-based alternative cooking fuel is said to be 30 percent cheaper than the conventional LPG fuel; it is also cleaner, greener and above all, easily transportable.
The program was inaugurated by Dr V K Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog and Chairman, Methanol Apex Committee at the Assam Petro-chemicals campus at Namrup.
Though it is a pilot project with 500 households inside the Assam Petro Complex, it will go up to 40,000 households in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Goa and Karnataka.
Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) chairman Jagadish Bhuyan has rightly described it as a ‘revolution’ and has said that the commercial operation will start very soon in about one month.
Indeed, this project will immensely fulfill the vision of Prime Minister Modi; apart from reducing import of crude which is very vital to the economy of the country, it also provides cost effective and pollution-free cooking medium. When burned, methanol produces no particulate matter and no soot thus providing near zero pollution.
Assam Petrochemicals Limited has been manufacturing methanol for the last 30 years and is in the process of upgrading their 100 TPD methanol plant to 600 TPD by Dec 2019, says an official release.
The safe handling cannister based cooking stoves are from Swedish Technology and through a Technology transfer a large-scale cooking stove manufacturing plant will come up in India in the next 18 months producing 10 lakh Cookstoves and 1 Crore Cannisters per year. This technology is very unique, it handles methanol extremely safely, does not need regulator or any piping system.
The cooking medium can directly substitute LPG, Kerosene, Wood, Charcoal and any other fuel for cooking. The gaseous form, Methanol – DME, can be blended in 20% ratio with LPG. LPG-DME blending program is expected to kickstart in the country by next year.
1.2 litres cannisters can last for full five hours on twin burners and 8 such Cannisters as rack can last for one month for a family of three. The cost of energy equivalent of one cylinder of LPG for Methanol is Rs. 650, compared to Rs. 850 per cylinder resulting in a minimum of 20% Savings. For instance, in Manipur the cost of transportation of LPG is Rs. 200, whereas same cost for Methanol will be Rs. 12.
China uses 4 MMTA of Methanol as Cooking Fuel annually. Many more countries like Italy, Israel, US, Australia, Japan and Sweden are actively pursuing wide-spread use of Methanol.
Sources : porttoport