A research project in India has fuelled a Chevrolet diesel Tavera on a 20 per cent biodiesel blend made from marine micro algae.

The project was initiated last year jointly by CSIR and the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), along with researchers from nine institutions, including CSMCRI, IIT-Kharagpur, IICT-Hyderabad, NIOT-Chennai and NIO-Goa.

The biodiesel was prepared from mats of microalgae found growing naturally in the West coast of India by the Bhavnagar-based Central Salt Marine and Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI).

Tavera Car Runs on Marine Micro Algae Biodiesel

The mileage derived from the test drive was 12.4 km, which is better than the normal average per litre of 10-11 km of the regular vehicles run on diesel, the official said.

“The aim of the project is to develop a scalable viable process for production of bio-fuel from marine algae. In the first step, road worthiness of B-20 marine micro algae biodiesel under full load conditions has been proven,” NMITLI coordinator Dr Vibha Malhotra told PTI on telephone.

“The next step would be to run vehicle under full load conditions on B-100 (neat biodiesel) marine micro algae biodiesel and to look at its economic viability,” she said.

“Although the demonstration aimed at proving road worthiness of micro-algal biodiesel, it remains to be seen whether such mat-forming marine micro algae can be cultivated inland or induced to grow rapidly and on large scale in the sea itself,” said CSMCRI Director Dr Pushpito Ghosh.

Also see – 2011 Chevrolet Tavera BSIV by end-2011