New Delhi: CSIR-IIP Dehradun’s home-grown technology to produce bio-jet fuel has beenformally approved for use on military aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The provisional clearance (PC) certificate was handed over by R.Kamalakannan,Group Director(AT&FOL), Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) to Saleem Akhtar Farooqui, Principal Scientistfrom CSIR-IIP in the presence of Group Captain Asheesh Shrivastava and Wing Commander A Sachan of the IAF and R Shanumgavel of CEMILAC.This certification represents India’s growing confidence in aviation biofuel sector and another step towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
The technology, developed by the Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, has undergone evaluation tests and trials overthe last three years. The testing of airborne items is a complex and meticulous process involving intricate checks while ensuring the highest levels of flight safety. International aviation standards define the scope of these rigorous assessments. Fuel being the lifeline of aircraft requires thorough analysis before being filled into manned flying machines. The certification received by the lab today is an acknowledgment of the satisfactory results obtained from various ground and inflight tests performed on the indigenous bio-jet fuel by various test agencies supported by the IAF.
Earlier on 26 Jan 19, an AN-32 aircraft, filled with blended bio-jet fuel, had flown over Raj Path at New Delhi during the Republic Day celebrations. Thereafter, the performance and reliability of the Indian technology were also tested when the Russian military aircraft safely landed and tookoff from Leh airport on 30 Jan 20 at high altitudes under severe winter conditions. The fuel was also used on a civil, commercial demonstration flight operated by SpiceJet on 27 Aug 18 from Dehradun to Delhi. These test flights with green fuel underscored the capabilities and commitment of Indian scientists and airmanship of IAF to serve a national cause.
Today’s approval by CEMILAC is a culmination of many years of intensive research and active support of many agencies, including the test facilities of Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) Panipat Refinery and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). This clearance will enable Indian armed forces to use bio-jet fuel produced using indigenous technology across all its operational aircraft. This will also enable early commercialization of the technology and its mass production. Indian bio-jet fuel can be produced from used cooking oil, tree-borne oils, short gestation oilseed crops grown off-season by farmers, and waste extracts from edible oil processing units. It will reduce air pollution by virtue of its ultralow sulphur content compared with conventional jet fuel and contribute to India’s Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions targets. It will also enhance the livelihoodsof farmers and tribals engaged in producing, collecting, and extracting non-edible oils.