Bihar lies in the river plains of the basin of the river Ganga. It is endowed with fertile alluvial soil with abundant water resources, especially ground water resources. This makes the agriculture of Bihar rich and diverse. The net sown area in Bihar is 60% of its geographical area. Such a high percentage of cultivated land is possible because most of Bihar is plain area suitable for agriculture and some are converted into wasteland.
A major portion of the total energy consumed is derived from the combustion of fossil fuels in which, liquid petroleum based fuels contributes a maximum because of their inherent physicochemical and combustion properties.
Unfortunately, the reserves of fossil fuels, specially the liquid fuels are not unlimited and may exhaust, if not utilized economically, within few decades. Efforts are being made throughout the world to reduce the consumption of liquid petroleum fuels wherever is possible. General approaches are in use to switch over the energy consumption devices on alternative energy source i.e., “Green Renewable energy” which are either abundant or are reproducible.
Today mankind is almost totally dependent on the fossil fuels (coal, petroleum etc.) to provide electricity and transport fuel. These sources are, however, non-renewable and may run out in the near future. To overcome these problems, an alternative energy source, which would be renewable as well as eco-friendly, is the need of hour.
Biodiesel, or “the Liquid Gold”, are gaining increased public and scientific attentions; this can be due to factors such as oil price hike, the need for increased energy security, and concern over greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. Plant seeds such as Jatropha and Karanja and Mahua, a non-edible plant oil source, carry immense potential for the production of plant-based oil to produce biodiesel.
Crops cultivated in Bihar such as soybean, sunflower, palm, rape seed, cotton seed, peanut, Jatropha seed, Mahua, Castor seed, Jajoba, Neem, Nag Champa, Corn, Silk cotton tree etc. are most suitable for generating biodiesel. Biodiesel derived from plants resources have been receiving increased attention due to its environmental benefits and renewable nature. It also helps in minimizing the pollution load of air as well as help increase the income generation of marginal farmers, utilizing waste lands for cultivation of petro plants, increasing the capacity of bioenergy production and making our earth a suitable place to live.
Bihar has 10 lakh acres of wastelands and it has several farmers who are jobless. So, if the farmers could be encouraged to start planting these plant, not only to generate another source of energy but also to make good use of wasteland. Farmers and people who had no source of income within their own home state Bihar tend to migrate to distant places in search of jobs. The plantation of these useful biodiesel plants gives a ray of hope that would generate jobs in Bihar and curb migration.
Biodiesel produce by these plants are biodegradable in nature, non-toxic, and safe in transportation and storage. Farmers would be able to sell the oilseeds to various petroleum companies which would then crush the seeds to extract bio-diesel, and, in turn, sell that to Bharat Petroleum and many others oils companies. This results in rising of companies in Bihar. Then, the slogan “हम बदलेंगे, देश बदलेगा” will be true for Bihar.
P.G Dept. of Biotechnology,
A. N College, Patna- 800013, Bihar