IIT-Delhi biogas passenger car with fuel mileage of 24.11 km/kg

While most would think that a bio-gas fueled passenger car is a distant dream, IIT-Delhi has proved otherwise. IIT-D have successfully tested India’s first bio gas fuelled passenger car thus ensuring that it becomes a reality in the not too distant future.

Lower emission and better quality of air is not far away as compressed biogas was tested on a regular CNG car for over 15000 kms. Post testing, it was noticed that emissions were significantly lower than that seen on cars fueled by CNG. All CNG models will however need to be modified so as to be compatible to compressed bio gas.

IIT Delhi bio-gas powered car project 1IIT-D has received a patent for this product which was developed by Biogas Development and Training Centre, Centre for Rural Development and Technology and has received the backing from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Developed by IIT-D, this small scale bio gas system uses water scrubbing technology – 20 m3/h system which consists of water scrubbing column and methane bio gas compression system. Though there is no significant change where mileage of vehicles fueled by CNG and compressed bio gas is concerned, a notable lower level of emissions have been observed

The need to preserve and take a big step towards sustainability is driving movements away from fossil fuels to renewable sources. Biomass plays a key role when considering low carbon economy, and globally it accounts for more than 2/3 of all renewable energy supplies. In this realm, Biogas has potential to supplement existing fuels and reduce fossil fuel dependency.

IIT Delhi bio-gas powered car project 2Rapid industrialization and population increase results in huge amounts of waste, and waste management can prove to be a solution. Installation of medium (85-1000 m3/d) to large-size (>1000 m3/d) biogas plants in India acts as a renewable energy source that aids in a clean and sustainable environment. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), National Biogas and Manure Management Program, and Biogas Fertilizer Plants all work towards these causes.

Potential of biogas is estimated to be 48,382 Million m3/year. When assumed that 50% of total upgraded biogas contributes towards transport sector, and 50% for cooking sector, then as per Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Statistics 2011-2012, bottled biogas could cater to 43.4% of total transport sector demand, and about 41.7% of cooking sector needs.

IIT Delhi bio-gas powered car project 3Biogas typically consists of methane (50-70 %), carbon dioxide (30-45 %), traces of water vapor and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and has a heating value of 20-24 MJ. As compressing it and storing it in containers is difficult in this form, raw biogas has to be upgraded to natural gas quality for use in vehicles designed to use natural gas. This means carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), ammonia, particles and water (and sometimes other trace compounds) have to be removed so that the product gas for vehicle use has a methane content of more than 90% by volume. This upgraded gas, Biomethane is bottled at discharge pressure of 200 bar. Using a CNG dispensing cable and a nozzle to NZS standards, Compressed Biogas (CBG) can be used to fill gas into vehicles. The new biogas standard BIS:16087(2013) has been developed by Bureau of Indian Standards for use in vehicles

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has developed a small scale biogas upgrading system using water scrubbing technology (20 m3/h system). This and a compression/bottling system patented by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India enhances biogas application in vehicles and cooking processes.

IIT Delhi bio-gas powered car project 5At Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, a regular CNG car has been tested on CBG for more than 15,000km. Their results show an existing CNG vehicle need not undergo any modifications to be compatible to CBG as a fuel. Fuel economy and mass emission of the Compressed Biogas (CBG) car with 93% CH4 and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) were evaluated. Emissions such as CO, HC and NOx were found to be marginally higher with CNG than CBG when meeting BS IV Norms. Mileage stood at CBG (24.11 km/kg) as compared to CNG (24.38 km/kg).

Biogas Development and Training Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi is working to develop a mobile unit for biogas enrichment based on water scrubbing and pressurized swing adsorption system. The trailer mounted mobile biogas upgrading and bottling unit can be taken to rural areas to sell CBG locally for tractors and transport vehicles and will in future generate entrepreneur and employment opportunities in these areas.

Scan through the videos and pdf below for more information.

With inputs from-

Prof. Virendra Kumar Vijay, Ph.D., FIE
CRDT, IIT Delhi
Coordinator, Biogas Development & Training Centre (BDTC)
Treasurer, Faculty Forum, IIT Delhi
General Secretary, Biogas Forum – India (BiGFIN)
Indian Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Environment (SEE) Forum
[Network in Asian Countries, Headquarter: Kyoto University, Japan]

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