India Launches First Test Plant to Convert Plastic Waste to Diesel Fuel

Plastic waste has become a major environmental catastrophe. According to the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), five trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. About 60% of that plastic ends up landfills or the natural environment, ultimately returning into the food cycle and causing severe environmental and health consequences.

India has announced that single-use plastic would be completely phased out by 2022. It has also announced several research projects to recycle plastic waste into useful applications.

The first of its kind in India, the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has developed the technology to convert plastic waste to diesel.

The first demonstration plant in the country to convert plastic waste to diesel has been launched in Dehradun, in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. The plant can convert 1000 kilograms of plastic waste to 800 litres of diesel daily. IIP will make the oil available to government agencies regularly.

The diesel is automotive grade, meets specifications for use in vehicles and can be directly used to fuel cars, trucks and power generators. The raw material used is polyolefin waste, which accounts for approximately 70% of total plastics consumed.

The salient features of the project are that it is capable of producing diesel, gasoline (petrol) or aromatics along with LPG, through environmentally-friendly processes and it is economically viable.

“We have partnered with a local non-government organisation, that is working with communities, commercial entities and ragpickers to develop an effective waste plastic supply chain,” Dr Anjan Ray, Director of Indian Institute of Petroleum told Sputnik.

Dr Ray said, after six to nine months of regular operations and data generation, IIP plans to set up similar plants in India’s metro cities, which generate vast quantities of plastic waste.

IIP had also developed a technology to produce Bio Jetfuel, and the first commercial flight using a mix of Bio Jetfuel and Aviation Turbine Fuel was operated between Dehradun and New Delhi in August 2018. The Indian Air Force has also started using Bio Jetfuel, and the first flight – of an AN-32 aircraft flew during the Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2019, using Bio Jetfule produced at IIP.


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India Launches First Test Plant to Convert Plastic Waste to Diesel Fuel


Plastic Shipments to India Stall as Ban Draws Near

Recovered plastic has largely stopped flowing from the U.S. into India, which until recently has been among the top importers of the material.

The curtailment in material movement comes as the South Asian country prepares to implement an all-out ban on scrap plastic imports this month.

The Indian government in March announced its plan to ban scrap plastic imports, later indicating the ban would take effect Aug. 31. The ban is proposed to cover most plastics under the 3915 tariff code, including PET, PE, PP, PS and more.

The announcement sent shockwaves through the industry, because India is a major destination for U.S. material. The country was the second largest importer of U.S. scrap plastic during the first six months of 2019, bringing in 156 million pounds. June is the most recent month for which trade figures are available.

Since that highly publicized initial announcement and a subsequent clarification of the implementation date, there has been little news of the plastic ban. But in the intervening months there have been numerous indications the ban is still set to take effect later this month. Meanwhile, scrap plastic traders say the movement of material to India has stopped in preparation for the new restriction.

“There has been no change in the stance,” said Rakesh Surana of scrap plastics brokerage Gemini Corporation N.V. “Because of this, all the exports out of U.S.A. or Europe to India of plastic scrap have come to a standstill,” because it takes between 30 and 45 days for containers to reach India.

Stakeholders adjust for end-of-August ban

In May, the Indian government continued to stress its upcoming plastics policy changes. In a press release describing the Indian delegation’s activities at the Basel Convention meeting in Geneva, the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change praised the Basel countries for expanding regulations on global scrap plastic shipments. The Indian delegation was involved in negotiating the agreement to amend the Convention, the release stated.

“India has already imposed a complete prohibition of import of solid plastic waste into the country,” the release added, referencing the upcoming ban.

In June, shipping companies began to make adjustments as the Aug. 31 enforcement date came on the horizon. APL stopped accepting loads of scrap plastic moving from any country to India. Hapag-Lloyd issued an alert reiterating the Indian policy changes. The company announced that it would cut off shipments of “solid plastic waste” into India after July 10.

Sources told Resource Recycling the policy is still slated for an end-of-August implementation date. Scrap plastic shippers have received instruction that containers should reach the Indian ports by Aug. 20 at the latest, Surana of Gemini Corporation said, to enable the shipments to clear customs before Aug. 31.

As the ban approaches and shippers adjust accordingly, several key elements of the Indian policy remain unclear. Scrap plastic traders say it’s not certain whether post-industrial plastics or clean regrind will be banned, or whether the restriction is only covering baled, post-consumer material.

For the time being, however, clean regrind is still going to the country, traders say, and it’s mostly the baled scrap plastic that has been impacted, according to information shared by Steve Wong, executive president of the China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA).

If that material is allowed to continue, it would be “more or less the same as the Basel Convention amendments,” Wong said. Uncontaminated loads of scrap plastic, sorted by resin rather than mixed together, are generally acceptable under the Basel guidelines.

India joins a growing regulatory movement

Over the past year and a half – the time since China’s scrap plastic import ban took effect – countries across Southeast Asia have enacted various restrictions on recycled plastic coming into their countries. And more recently, a growing number of these countries are shipping inbound plastic back to its source, which is frequently North America.

Although each Southeast Asian nation’s import restrictions have been slightly different, they are driven primarily by skyrocketing plastic import volumes that followed China’s ban. The influx of material has led to greater attention to contamination, particularly when the importing country does not have adequate infrastructure to dispose of that contamination.

These issues have built significant public pressure on governments to take action.

“There’s not a single day that we don’t see plastic scrap in the media,” Wong said.


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Will Indian Govt Give Bigger Tax Breaks On Electric Vehicles?

Existing GST levied on electric vehicles is 12%

A proposal to reduce GST on EVs is expected to be put forward in the upcoming GST council

Indian EV industry has recorded sale of 7.59 Lakh units in India in FY2019

Indian government might slash down the goods and services tax (GST) levied on the sale of electric vehicles in the upcoming 35th GST council on June 20.

It is reportedly being proposed to bring down GST on electric vehicles to 5% from the existing 12%, which is relatively less than 28% GST for traditional vehicles.

“There is a proposal to cut tax rates on EVs among other issues,” according to an ET report which cited government officials.

Electric vehicles have been the prime focus for Modi government, which has announced multiple electric vehicle focused policy over the past five years. After the initial announcement of lower GST rates for EVs in 2017, this further slashing down of taxes can be a push for the global manufacturers to enter the Indian market.

Also recently, government think-tank NITI Aayog had proposed that only electric vehicles should be sold in India by 2030. In a cabinet note, the think-tank had asked the road transport and highways ministry prepare a framework which will help cut out on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Further, it also proposed piloting an ehighway programme with an overhead electric network to enable trucks and buses to ply on select national highways. The proposal also includes a plan to manufacture 50 gigawatt hour (Gwh) batteries by 2030.

EV Sales in India
The Indian electric vehicle industry recorded sale of 7.59 Lakh units in India in FY2019 as opposed to 56K (excluding three vehicles) in FY2018. This included the sale of 1.2 Lakh two-wheelers, 6.3 Lakh three-wheelers and 3,600 passenger vehicles

However, in April, right after the announcement of central government’s FAME II scheme, the sales of electric two-wheelers had gone down to near-zero. EV industry had attributed this slowdown to the lower availability of vehicles in the market due to the FAME II recertification rules of all existing EVs.

FAME II has mandated all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to get their electric two-wheeler models certified by recognised testing agencies. Only after the recertification process, the vehicles were to be eligible for incentives under FAME II.



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Is The Govt Considering Bigger Tax Breaks On Electric Vehicles?