With tech developed by NCL, green fuel-operated cooking stoves launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan

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By: Express News Service | Pune | October 22, 2020 12:21:24 am

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan launches dimethylether stove gas, green fueled stove launched, indian express newsDr. Harsh Vardhan. (File)

Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday launched a gas stove that operates on dimethylether (DME) blended with LPG, developed by scientists from city-based CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL).

During his visit to NCL in September last year, the minister had inaugurated India’s first pilot plant manufacturing this special mix of fuel — initially meant to operate cooking stoves. The plant was set up under CSIR’s ‘Catalysis for Sustainable Development’ mission.

Scientists have demonstrated an indigenous and patented technology for producing DME from methanol dehydration.

On Wednesday, stove prototypes were handed over to 11 beneficiary families residing on the NCL campus. The institute’s canteen will also start using these stoves on an experimental basis.

Speaking during the e-inauguration of the ‘Aditi Urja Sanch’, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “The introduction of DME-blended LPG is not limited to the development achieved in the energy sector alone but it is the making of an environment-friendly move. This comes at a crucial time when the world is experiencing effects of climate change.”

Experimental runs of operating stoves using 20 per cent blended DME and LPG in the laboratory had showcased 10 to 15 per cent improved efficiency. “Since this is a green fuel, it produces fewer pollutants and particulate matter, thereby reducing air pollution,” said T Raja, nodal scientist of the project.

Shekhar Mande, director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) hailed DME as a “futuristic fuel”.

NCL and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune, have worked in collaboration on this project and soon, they will be working on developing DME-blended diesel, which can then be tested for vehicles. A proposal to develop India’s first DME-fueled automotive engine has been submitted to CSIR, said Raja.

Even though the blended fuel-operated stoves have been provided to a limited number of users on the campus as of now, the researchers plan to come up with a bottling unit and study combustion of DME-LPG among domestic users.

NCL is presently in talks with a few companies to scale up research on this blended fuel for applications outside cooking stoves.

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