Fuel produced using modern processes like biomass is known as biofuel. These are renewable sources of energy created from organic wastes or material. Biofuels Junction Pvt. Ltd. a four-year-old Mumbai-based start-up is smoothening the way for environmentally friendly biofuels to be supplied to large manufacturing plants.
Founded by Ashvin Patil and Chaitanya Korgaonkar in the year 2016, the company supplies first-class biomass briquettes and pellets to corporate entities. These are made from agricultural waste and wood waste and there is a growing trend for manufacturing plants to use them as fuel.
Ashwin who has spent a greater part of his career in the financial services industry was always keen on starting a business related to agriculture. After significant research, he zeroed in on biofuels for which he found the demand was high but the supply was challengingly low. That was the beginning of the journey of Biofuels Junction when Ashwin and Chaitanya got together to create an aggregator platform that linked suppliers with users of biofuel.
As they discovered most of the small-scale biofuel manufacturers across the country lacked access to the market, financial acumen, and quality standards for their business to run efficiently. The next step was for the founders to meet these biofuel manufacturers and convince them to improve their quality, ensure steady supply and maintain financial records. In return, they promised to purchase their products and guaranteed payment.
Challenges especially weather-related like droughts or excess rain could hamper the supply of biofuels. Additionally, biofuel manufacturers often lacked finances to buy and store enough agricultural residue. To address these concerns, the company entered into agreements with ten biofuel manufacturers in Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
Ashvin’s experience in the corporate sector enabled him to successfully approach many companies primarily fast-moving-consumer durable firms to understand their need for biofuels. He soon found out that they were willing to switch to biofuels but were worried about the quality control and steady supply of these. As Biofuels Junction addressed these concerns, they soon won over clients like Hindustan Unilever, Marico, and Haldiram’s.
Ashvin cites that there are many practical reasons regarding why companies are agreeable to adopting biofuels. These are made from agricultural residue and India produces 500 million tonnes of it every year. Sadly 200 million tonnes of it are wasted. Manufacturers who use biofuel reduce emission of environmentally harmful gasses like sulphur and nitrogen. What’s more, biofuels are definitely more cost-effective.
So, what does the future hold for Biofuels Junction?
The company is expanding from the supply of biomass briquettes to biomass pellets. The latter is used for finer applications and has a 40-50 per cent cost advantage when compared to diesel or LPG.