India, U.S. agree to collaborate on biofuels

By Ryan C. Christiansen | February 04, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 10, 2009, at 5:17 p.m. CST

India and the U.S. have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperatively work on developing biofuels.

According to the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the agreement will establish ways for the scientific, technical, and political communities in the U.S. and India to work together to produce, distribute, and market sustainable biofuels, such as ethanol. The agreement was signed by Joint Secretary for the Ministry Gauri Singh, as well as Steven White, deputy chief of mission for the American Embassy in New Delhi, India.

The Ministry said the two countries have agreed to collaborate on establishing non-edible oilseed bearing plantations on wastelands in India to produce biodiesel and bio-jet fuel; as well as establishing plantations of high-sugar varieties of sugarcane, sweet sorghum, and cassava to grow as feedstock for ethanol production.

India and the U.S. have also agreed to collaboratively research methods for advancing conversion technologies for first-generation biofuels, such as sugarcane ethanol, and to advance emerging conversion technologies for producing second-generation biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, the Ministry said. In addition, the collaboration will work together to establish biofuels testing methods and standards.

The countries will also include improving technologies for producing electricity from the byproducts of biofuels production, according to the Ministry.