Methanol for Cooking Pilot Project to be Launched in Assam
Friday October 5, 2018, will be the day that Assam Petrochemicals Ltd. (APL) will launch a pilot project to see if methanol can be used as an alternative to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). Methanol (chemical formula CH3OH) can be produced from either natural gas or coal, but more and more these days, it is even being produced from sources like biomass. APL was set up in Namrup in 1971, and has a production capacity of 100 tonnes of methanol daily. Its primary sales have been to other Northeastern states, and even internationally to neighboring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
Jagadish Bhuyan, Chairman of APL, said that the primary reason for undertaking this pilot project was to help reduce the price of cooking gas, which is solely LPG at the moment, stating that, “Methanol is a green and clean fuel that is safer as well as cheaper by 30 per cent compared with LPG. We will launch the pilot project at our APL township on October 5. If it is a success, we will launch it commercially. If we launch it commercially, we will use a technology imported from Sweden for distribution.”
Managing Director of APL, Ratul Mahanta pointed out that there are countries around the world like China and Iran who have been using methanol to run public transportation vehicles like trains and buses. According to Mahanta, the company is currently trying to produce methanol from gases produced at their plant, and with the success of the project, APL could be producing 600 tonnes of methanol per day in a year’s time.