Bio Diesel

Developing the vast degraded waste-land of Rajasthan as a viable resource for generating renewable energy by cultivating Jetropha curcas (Ratanjot), inspired RSMML management to explore the possibility of putting up a Jetropha based bio-diesel pilot plant in Jhamarkotra Rock Phosphate project, Udaipur, as a part of company’s continuing quest for better environment management.

Udaipur division is naturally endowed with wild Jetropha groves with pockets, yielding good quality seeds. However, to encourage farmers to plant Jetropha on large scale, confidence about getting reasonable price and assured market, need to be built up. RSMML management adopted a strategy of end product driven growth, in which farmers will directly feel the marketability and quality of the end product, i.e. superior bio-diesel used in mining machinery (thereby creating a strong and permanent demand) which would encourage them to plant more trees. Being critically dependent on seed price, better production economies of bio-diesel can only be achieved if seeds are available aplenty at a support price remunerative to the supplier villager.

RSMML and other mining companies consume huge quantity of fossil fuel for mining operations. Partial replacement of such petro-oil by bio-diesel will open up effective rural employment on a major scale and will also help in reducing pollution. 

Plantation of Jetropha will also take care of greening of mined out land in the leases of the companies. 

Management of RSMML was aware that Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, (A CSIR Laboratory), in association with Daimler Chrysler had carried out a road test of bio-diesel, derived from Jetropha by using one E-220 CDI Mercedes car in April, 2004. The test was reported to be a success. Shri R.K.Mishra, IAS, MD, RSMML visited CSMCRI in April 2004 and formulated the project after discussion with Director, CSMCRI. 3000 kg of wild Jetropha seeds from Udaipur were sent to CSMCRI laboratory for producing bio-diesel. 

With the first batch of bio-diesel received from CSMCRI, RSMML started using blended HSD with 10% addition of bio-diesel. One school bus and a jeep were continuously used for months, using 10-D blended oil. Performance observed was encouraging. 

RSMML also used 368 litres of neat bio-diesel for running a 850 HP HEMM (85T BEML make dump truck) for 4.7 hours on a test mode. Again, the performance exceeded expectation. The company also arranged for the testing of bio-diesel so received from CSMCRI at Bharat Earth Movers Ltd., Bangalore (a Central PSU) for an independent evaluation. BEML submitted a detailed report based on short run testing of the sample sent by RSMML and concluded that the results were satisfactory. 

Research by Daimler Chrysler shows that, though heat value of bio-diesel is 15% less than HSD, yet there is minor reduction in mileage.

The board of RSMML approved to set up a pilot bio-diesel plant with 1 TPD seed processing capacity (260-270 Lt. Bio diesel per day) to evaluate the economics of operation and to get familiar with the technology.

After confirming the source of seed to the quantum of 3,50,000 kg (350 tons) for the initial year, RSMML signed an agreement with CSMCRI for transfer of  technology and establishment of plant in Jhamarkotra complex at the cost of Rs. 15.87 lacs. RSMML paid Rs 10.00 lacs as the transfer of technology fee to CSMCRI and Rs. 9.00 lacs for consultancy. 

The first bio-diesel pilot plant of Rajasthan was commissioned in the last week of March, 2006. The performance guarantee tests were conducted from 26.04.2006 to 28.04.2006. Bio diesel yield obtained with respect to refined oil was 94.85%. The seeds produced oil at an average of 27%. 

Thereafter, the plant is in successful production and has already produced more than 11000 litres of high quality bio-diesel. The target is to produce and use 1 lakh litre by the end of the current financial  year. Since RSMML technical team has mastered production technique, scaling up in immediate future is not really a challenge. The main issue is to get high quality certified saplings in large number to take up massive plantation (75% Jetropha and 25% fruit bearing trees). 

Bio-diesel produced at Jhamarkotra has the following salient features : 



EN 14214

Free Glycerin


0.2 max.

Total Glycerin


0.25 max.



0.5 max.

Sulphur (ppm Wt)


10 max.

Carbon Residue (Micro) % Wt

0.04 (Trace)


Moisture (ppm)



From the table depicted, it is clear that the bio-diesel produced by RSMML is superior to EN 14214 specifications. 

RSMML is using this bio-diesel as an additive for HSD @ 10% and the fuel is being used by the company in :-

Light vehicles (jeeps, small pick ups etc.)

Light commercial vehicles like ambulances, fire tenders

HEMM water sprinklers 380 HP

HEMM heavy dumpers 850 HP

RSMML requested M/s Cummins Diesel Sales & Service (India) Ltd., Pune, the manufacturers of high capacity diesel engines for evaluation of engines in field conditions. M/s Cummins Diesel Sales & Services(India) Ltd., Pune, have commenced elaborate study on the engine performance and the first report is expected within six months. RSMML has not encountered any problem so far in using the blended bio-diesel in various categories of engines. 

From 7th to 9th August, a new Chevorlet Travera No. RJ-27-TA-0282 hired by the company travelled 1111 kms. (Udaipur – Jaipur to and fro including city drive) consuming 80 litres of neat RSMML bio-diesel registering an average mileage of 13.8 Kms/lt with AC and at an average speed of 90 km. per hour. There was very little emission and the ride was absolutely smooth. The test attested the efficacy of RSMML bio-diesel on road condition. 

Probably for the first time, a technologically advanced vehicle covered such a long distance using neat bio-diesel on roads of Rajasthan.
By-products of Bio-diesel


Number of by-products like high quality soap, nitrogen rich oil-cake, high purity glycerin and K2SO4, a potent fertilizer, are also obtained. 

RSMML has already consumed 2350 Kg. (valued at Rs. 24/Kg.) of soap in the rock phosphate beneficiation plant. The oil cake will be sold in the market for production of bio-fertilizers. There are already several commercial enquiries for oil cakes received by the Company. Glycerin and Potassium Sulphate are high value by-products, which will be sold after considerable accumulation. 

Taking into account all factors, the cost of production of high quality bio-diesel is around Rs. 27.50, at a cost of Rs. 7/- per Kg. of seed. 

RSMML has also distributed 2.5 lakhs saplings of Jatropha plant procured from Forest Department in all Panchayat Samities of district Udaipur, free of cost. 

RSMML has ambitious plans to enter into large scale plantation of high yielding variety of Jatropha Curcas in association with Biodiesel Authority of Rajasthan, Forest Department and local village Panchayats. 

The pilot plant has given enough exposure in terms of production methods, quality of bio-diesel, its test in real time and dynamics of production economics. RSMML’s experience will be helpful for Government to decentralize production of high quality bio-diesel synchronized with local collection of wild seeds in a number of tribal panchayats.


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