Honge oil as substitute for diesel

Vol 5, PW 14 (29 Aug 01) News in Brief

First it was herbal fuel, then ethanol, now it's honge oil! India's appetite for dubious alternatives to diesel is clearly insatiable.

Honge oil - obtained from the seed of Pongamia pinnata - could replace diesel, according to an oil ministry press release! Quoting the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, it reads: "Power output of the diesel engine remains almost the same though the calorific value of honge oil is slightly lower. Its production or availability can nowhere be near diesel (but) it can still come to the rescue of farmers and small users in meeting their daily energy needs." Where does this wonder plant grow Nowhere in India, but apparently it can be cultivated inRajasthan or along roadsides!