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Lignocellulosic biofuels in India: current perspectives, potential issues and future prospects

Pallav Purohit Subash Dhar

*Corresponding author: Subash Dhar purohit@iiasa.ac.at


With the transportation sector growing considerably and demand for transport fuels rising globally, this study looks at the current and future status and technical/economic potential of lignocellulosic biofuels in India in a business-as-usual (BAU), national policy on biofuel (NPB) and 2 ℃ climate stabilization scenarios. It identifies key challenges in achieving the country’s biofuel targets, and analyses their role in India’s long-term transport scenarios. In this study, we have used ANSWER MARKAL model to assess the economic potential of biofuels obtained through lignocellulosic agricultural residues. The results indicate that the current ethanol and biodiesel availability in India through the first generation biofuel route is not sufficient to meet the country’s biofuel target. On the other hand, lignocellulosic agricultural residues can produce 38 and 51 billion litres of lignocellulosic ethanol/BTL in 2020 and 2030, respectively, which would be sufficient to meet the NPB’s 20 percent blending by 2030. Apart from biofuel availability, we assess the investment requirement for second generation biofuel industry, reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and impact on rural employment in different scenarios.

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