"If India begins to use more renewable biofuels, the whole world will benefit from it"

Updated: Feb 03, 2012, 12:55 PM IST

Rajiv Tikoo/OneWorld South Asia

Pasi Rousu, Partner and Co-founder of Finland-based Chempolis, talks to OneWorld South Asia ahead of Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2012, about biofuel being a potential source of renewable energy for India.

Pasi Rousu, Partner and Co-founder of Finland-headquartered Chempolis, is leading by example the sustainability technology leader’s Asia Pacific operations. Apart from authoring many publications, he holds several environmental process technology patents. He talks to OneWorld South Asia’s Rajiv Tikoo on the eve of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2012 hosted by TERI. Excerpts:

OneWorld South Asia: What prompted you to attend DSDS 2012?

Pasi Rousu: The DSDS 2012 is a high-level event that brings together influential people working with sustainability issues.

OWSA: Chempolis is a technology leader providing innovative and sustainable solutions for biomass, paper, biofuels and chemical industries. What kind of business potential do you see in India?

PR: Chempolis` mission is set to save natural resources, combat climate change and reduce environmental pollution. Our mission is based on our innovative process technology and production solutions built on the use of non-wood and non-food residual renewable biomasses. If we want a more sustainable future, we need to make better use of renewable biomass residues.

Chempolis third generation biorefining technologies make it possible to do already now. The potential of both bioethanol and biochemical production are huge in India. India is a very rich country when it comes to the availability of biomasses. Agriculture and sugar industry produce yearly residual straws and bagasse, which are utilised only partially and nevertheless, in an unprofitable manner.

In fuel ethanol production the use of food-based raw materials, such as molasses and starch, is not acceptable in long-term and neither would their availability be enough. Food is needed for people, not for cars. This can be solved by using cellulose-based agricultural residues in renewable fuels production.

OWSA: Domestic biomass use by poor households in India has come in for severe criticism for causing pollution. What is the way out?

PR: It is very important to find the right and most efficient ways to utilise domestic biomasses. The examples of unfavourable ways to utilise biomasses are the household combustion of biomasses and the generation of electricity from biomass with condensing power plants. The conversion rates and profitability are low. Energy and raw material are wasted. National incentives would be important in order to encourage implementation of advanced biorefining technologies. If we want a more sustainable future, we need to make better use of renewable biomass residues.

Chempolis 3G biorefining technology platform enables production of multiple renewable products and provide profitable, sustainable and cost-effective solutions for the biomass, sugar, alcohol, paper, oil and chemical industries. Domestic residual biomasses can be refined into high-quality products while minimising environmental impact and maximising social benefits. Chempolis biorefining technologies are effluent-free, self-sufficient in terms of energy, and produce no CO2 or sulphuric emissions. Biomass is selectively fractionated with a recyclable biosolvent while all the biomass components are processed into profitable products.

OWSA: When are you setting up a biorefinery in India?

PR: Chempolis has a biorefinery in Oulu, Finland. Chempolis Biorefining Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd, which is a technology deliver company and a fully-owned subsidiary of Chempolis is located in Shanghai. In India Chempolis is in a process to negotiate setting up of biorefineries, as well as setting up of our own company.

OWSA: What is the take-home for Finland from India in sustainability business?

PR: The climate change, CO2 emissions and pollution are global issues. If India begins to use more renewable biofuels, the whole world will benefit from it. Also, Chempolis sees biorefining as a very good business.

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