Developing the vast
degraded waste-land of Rajasthan as a viable resource for generating
renewable energy by cultivating Jetropha curcas (Ratanjot), inspired
RSMML management to explore the possibility of putting up a Jetropha
based bio-diesel pilot plant in Jhamarkotra Rock Phosphate project,
Udaipur, as a part of company’s continuing quest for better
Udaipur division is naturally
endowed with wild Jetropha groves with pockets, yielding good
quality seeds. However, to encourage farmers to plant Jetropha on
large scale, confidence about getting reasonable price and assured
market, need to be built up. RSMML management adopted a strategy of
end product driven growth, in which farmers will directly feel the
marketability and quality of the end product, i.e. superior
bio-diesel used in mining machinery (thereby creating a strong and
permanent demand) which would encourage them to plant more trees.
Being critically dependent on seed price, better production
economies of bio-diesel can only be achieved if seeds are available
aplenty at a support price remunerative to the supplier villager.
RSMML and other mining companies consume huge quantity of fossil
fuel for mining operations. Partial replacement of such petro-oil by
bio-diesel will open up effective rural employment on a major scale
and will also help in reducing pollution.
Plantation of Jetropha will also take care of greening of mined out
land in the leases of the companies.
Management of RSMML was aware that Central Salt & Marine Chemicals
Research Institute, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, (A CSIR Laboratory), in
association with Daimler Chrysler had carried out a road test of
bio-diesel, derived from Jetropha by using one E-220 CDI Mercedes
car in April, 2004. The test was reported to be a success. Shri
R.K.Mishra, IAS, MD, RSMML visited CSMCRI in April 2004 and
formulated the project after discussion with Director, CSMCRI. 3000
kg of wild Jetropha seeds from Udaipur were sent to CSMCRI
laboratory for producing bio-diesel.
With the first batch of bio-diesel received from CSMCRI, RSMML
started using blended HSD with 10% addition of bio-diesel. One
school bus and a jeep were continuously used for months, using 10-D
blended oil. Performance observed was encouraging.
RSMML also used 368 litres of neat bio-diesel for running a 850 HP
HEMM (85T BEML make dump truck) for 4.7 hours on a test mode. Again,
the performance exceeded expectation. The company also arranged for
the testing of bio-diesel so received from CSMCRI at Bharat Earth
Movers Ltd., Bangalore (a Central PSU) for an independent
evaluation. BEML submitted a detailed report based on short run
testing of the sample sent by RSMML and concluded that the results
Research by Daimler Chrysler shows that, though heat value of
bio-diesel is 15% less than HSD, yet there is minor reduction in
The board of RSMML approved to set up a pilot bio-diesel plant with
1 TPD seed processing capacity (260-270 Lt. Bio diesel per day) to
evaluate the economics of operation and to get familiar with the
After confirming the source of seed to the quantum of 3,50,000 kg
(350 tons) for the initial year, RSMML signed an agreement with
CSMCRI for transfer of technology and establishment of plant in
Jhamarkotra complex at the cost of Rs. 15.87 lacs. RSMML paid Rs
10.00 lacs as the transfer of technology fee to CSMCRI and Rs. 9.00
lacs for consultancy.
The first bio-diesel pilot plant of Rajasthan was commissioned in
the last week of March, 2006. The performance guarantee tests were
conducted from 26.04.2006 to 28.04.2006. Bio diesel yield obtained
with respect to refined oil was 94.85%. The seeds produced oil at an
average of 27%.
Thereafter, the plant is in successful production and has already
produced more than 11000 litres of high quality bio-diesel. The
target is to produce and use 1 lakh litre by the end of the current
financial year. Since RSMML technical team has mastered production
technique, scaling up in immediate future is not really a challenge.
The main issue is to get high quality certified saplings in large
number to take up massive plantation (75% Jetropha and 25% fruit
Bio-diesel produced at Jhamarkotra has the following salient
Sulphur (ppm Wt)
Carbon Residue (Micro) % Wt
From the table
depicted, it is clear that the bio-diesel produced by RSMML is
superior to EN 14214 specifications.
RSMML is using this bio-diesel as an additive for HSD @ 10% and the
fuel is being used by the company in :-
Light vehicles (jeeps, small pick ups etc.)
Light commercial vehicles like ambulances, fire tenders
HEMM water sprinklers 380 HP
HEMM heavy dumpers 850 HP
RSMML requested M/s Cummins Diesel Sales & Service (India) Ltd.,
Pune, the manufacturers of high capacity diesel engines for
evaluation of engines in field conditions. M/s Cummins Diesel Sales
& Services(India) Ltd., Pune, have commenced elaborate study on the
engine performance and the first report is expected within six
months. RSMML has not encountered any problem so far in using the
blended bio-diesel in various categories of engines.
From 7th to 9th August, a new Chevorlet Travera No. RJ-27-TA-0282
hired by the company travelled 1111 kms. (Udaipur – Jaipur to and
fro including city drive) consuming 80 litres of neat RSMML
bio-diesel registering an average mileage of 13.8 Kms/lt with AC and
at an average speed of 90 km. per hour. There was very little
emission and the ride was absolutely smooth. The test attested the efficacy of RSMML bio-diesel on road condition.
Probably for the first time, a technologically advanced vehicle
covered such a long distance using neat bio-diesel on roads of
By-products of Bio-diesel
Number of by-products like high quality soap, nitrogen rich
oil-cake, high purity glycerin and K2SO4, a potent fertilizer, are
RSMML has already consumed 2350 Kg. (valued at Rs. 24/Kg.) of soap
in the rock phosphate beneficiation plant. The oil cake will be sold
in the market for production of bio-fertilizers. There are already
several commercial enquiries for oil cakes received by the Company.
Glycerin and Potassium Sulphate are high value by-products, which
will be sold after considerable accumulation.
Taking into account all factors, the cost of production of high
quality bio-diesel is around Rs. 27.50, at a cost of Rs. 7/- per Kg.
RSMML has also distributed 2.5 lakhs saplings of Jatropha plant
procured from Forest Department in all Panchayat Samities of
district Udaipur, free of cost.
RSMML has ambitious plans to enter into large scale plantation of
high yielding variety of Jatropha Curcas in association with
Biodiesel Authority of Rajasthan, Forest Department and local
The pilot plant has given enough exposure in terms of production
methods, quality of bio-diesel, its test in real time and dynamics
of production economics. RSMML’s experience will be helpful for
Government to decentralize production of high quality bio-diesel
synchronized with local collection of wild seeds in a number of