Scientists have recently created a new biofuel using
plants that burns just as well as a petroleum-based
Fossil fuels were plants once, millions of years ago,
and so it makes sense that both the fossil fuels we
use today and oils produced by plants are
chemically similar. Both are made up of chains of
chemicals known as hydrocarbons.
Consequently, by manipulating plant oils, it is be
possible to create a petroleum substitute.
This means corn, sugar cane, grasses and other
fast-growing plants or trees, like eucalyptus, can be
used to make the propellant, replacing petroleum.
Due to the current situation of depletion petroleum
and the increase in its prices, alternative source of
fuel and energy is of utmost importance.
Petroleum has played an important role in the social,
economic, and political history of the world. Since the
nineteenth century, we have been using petroleum as a
source of energy production. We have encountered
major energy crises in the past and today we face yet
another crises due to it being a non-renewable source of
The future of our country’s energy supply is uncertain,
but we are sure the world will soon run out of petroleum
and need other major sources of energy. We have
dangerously relied on oil to play a major role in the past,
present, and future of our social, economic, and political
The current rate of consumption of fuel in the world,
clearly points to the future where our world
resources become so depleted that it costs more
money to drill that deep into the ground and
becomes more expensive to get out than they can
sell it. The world will be out of oil unless strict
measure are not taken right now and petroleum
substitute used extensively.
The country is the sixth largest consumer of oil in
the world and the ninth largest crude oil importer.
The petroleum sector is of immense importance to
the economy owing to its significant forward
integration with many other sectors. India is
committed to boosting its growth in the years to
come and this progress would translate into the
country’s energy needs growing many times.
The need of the hour, therefore, is to channelize all
efforts on exploration of new blocks effectively as
well as efficiently.
The overall consumption of petroleum products
increased 3.1 per cent y-o-y in April 2013,
Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of
the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas data
PPAC projects a 5.5 per cent growth in petrol
demand, which accounts for 45 per cent of the fuel
consumption in India.
Moreover, Business Monitor International (BMI)
forecasts that India will account for 12.4 per cent of
Asia Pacific regional oil demand by 2015, while
satisfying 11.2 per cent of the supply.
Plant oil is a combustible fuel which can be used as a
substitute to petroleum which runs the industrial growth
of an economy.
Petroleum is primarily used as a source of fuel for
automotive uses. Its increasing usage in the current
growing world puts a lot of pressure on the reserves of
the world which are limited in nature.
Thus, any step to find a new source of petroleum is a
huge business opportunity for the current scenario (and a
major potential in the future).
The invention of extracting it through plants leads to a
new fuel by the name of ‘Plant Oil’. This invention can be
mass produced to compete with the widely available
petroleum but at a slightly higher price.
The depleting reserves of petroleum and gasoline
are restricted to only certain parts of the world.
Whereas, through new research, the plant and bio-
reserves can be expanded over as much area as is
required to cope with the increasing demand.
Researchers have identified land around the globe
available to produce grass crops for biofuels with
minimal impact on agriculture or the environment.
PRODUCER’S POINT OF VIEW
Production of plant oil fuel to substitute petroleum
consumption requires a huge amount of capital
investment which can not be done or expected from
a start up.
Big industrial plants are required to process the raw
material for plant oil. Then there is the need of huge
raw material production of plants which will require
entering into contracts with vast amount of farmers
All these initial costs will add to the cost of the plant
oil. Creating marketability for the fuel will also put
pressure on the resources of the companies.
But the future prospects tilting in favour of this plant
oil are so profitable that the companies can not see
Making it available through the normal outlets with
other fuel sources will be an uphill task for the
This plant oil will be sold to consumers at a slightly
higher price also, creating another disadvantage to
the consumers and producers together.
CONSUMER’S POINT OF VIEW
Consumer’s always look for the cheapest fuel to run
their vehicles. Due to the increasing prices of petroleum,
they will go for that fuel which costs the least and does
not affect their wallets in a larger magnitude.
The environmental factor associated with plant oil is a
big attraction point for the consumers, but these
consumers are only few in number.
Most of the consumers would not care about how this
plant oil is made. Rather they will look for how much this
plant oil will cost them extra.
The availability of plant oil in the initial phases will also
be a deterrent for the new consumers who will shape
the future of this product.
This product has a very healthy business prospect
in all parts of the world, but especially in India as it
is the largest developing country. The scope of new
environmental products in the country is very wide
and will be supported by all, especially the
The initial stages will be difficult and non-profitable,
but continuing with this product will generate huge
rewards in the future.
Higher cost per litre will be slightly more, but
through awareness and good marketing, this could
be made a desirable product among the
We are just getting started on the alternatives to
petroleum products. Its going to take decades, but
worrying about peaks and such seems to be a
waste of human capital. If, or more likely when,
more efficient fuel to energy conversion arrives at
advantageous cost, the energy crises will be
destined to be history.
This is a step to a safe future and a prosperous