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Bio-gas Energy and Proper use of Food Waste

by | 02-08-2012 14:39 recommendations 0

Bio-gas Energy and Proper use of Food Waste
                                                   - An Article by Madhav Datt

In this series of articles by me to motivate small scale youth environmentalists and inspire other to take up such initiatives, this one is reporting about a project started in the suburbs of India's Capital New Delhi, recognizing the efforts by young environmentalists from St. Paul's School.

My team is very conscious about surrounding environment and kept thinking of doing something which helps to the society.We tried to solve MSW problem problem usually appearing in the newspapers.It stated with separating biodegradable waste in our houses and it's characterization in the labs.Our project was encouraged by our family members. We got help from local laboratory and community members for doing all these things. The bio-gas potential in the waste boosted our moral for promotion of this idea. This project may turns ugly scenario of waste management to productive environmentally freindly way of harnessing energy.

This project is about environment friendly utilisation of food waste for energy ( Biogas) and fertilizer in urban areas in decentralised way. At the same time it helps in environfriendly disposal of biodegradable components of Municipal Solid Waste.We have chosen this problem because of improper disposal, handling, transportation of it for long distances and large scale dumping in most of the urban areas in developing countries. We have been working on this project for more than a year.

The desired situation in this area is to have a system of localised use of food or biodegradable waste component in every locality/ cluster. The ultimate goal is to treat every one's waste at his own house and it should be the responsibility of every family.We have developed a model of treating food waste at house hold level and it can supplement around one third of cooking energy.Also anaerobic digestion of food waste generated good quality of manure which can be used in the kitchen garden.It can reduce burden on the municipalites for transportation and disposal of waste using lots of land, manpower and resources and ultimately generating unhygenic conditions and emitting green house gases in the environment.

The project started with my own house and I convinced my mom to start separating food and biodegradable waste with others in seperate dust bin. After getting exasperated food waste I requested my father to get it's potential of biogas generation. We have got a representative sample of food waste analysed in a laboratory.The waste characterization was made. It contained 25 % total solid, 75 % volatile solids, and pH 5.5. It proved it's anaerobic digestion potential. Then anaerobic digestion was studied in a HDPE made small biogas plant. At the initial stage innoculam was used from an active animal manure biogas plant to start with. Every day around 1.5 kg of food waste ( obtained from 3 team members families)with 3 kg of water was fed in the biogas digester.It has been observed that around 250 lit of bio-gas was produced every day.It was sufficient for making every day's breakfast in the family.

The action plan we are proposing is realistic and effective for management of food waste. First of all an awareness programme in the area is to be launched to use seperate dusbins for food/biodegradable waste in everhy household. Then in a cluster of 50/100 houses it collected and put up in a biodigester for biogas production. The gas can be sold to 4-5 families. The fertilizer produced can also be locally sold to residents. This will generate income and the whole activity can be run in an entreprenurial mode. One or two persons employment can be generated from this project which is self reliant. The support from municipality is needed for a small place to run biogas plant. Initially government can provide free biogas plants to the societies.If enough revenue is generated, incentives can be given to families contributing the waste.

The vision of the project is to help in MSW management globally by providing localised and sustainable solution. Food waste/ biodegradable waste generated in a community can provide about 20-30 % of cooking energy requirement.Also it helps in organic use of fertilizers for plants/ gardens.Presently 30-40 % of food waste is not collected and properly disposed off and creaating unhygenic conditions in many areas. It stinks where it is collected and spread many germs causing illness in the residents in surroundings.It helps in making the area neat and clean, reduce energy dependence on fossil fuels, provide organic manure for plants and maintain healthy envirnment.


 
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3 Comments

Eco Generation

  • Eco Generation says :
    Hi, Madhav
    Can you please remove photos if they are downloaded from the internet? Because it violates copyright law.
    Posted 03-08-2012 10:47

  • says :
    Not us. But a young group of enthusiasts from New Delhi. I just wrote the article.
    Posted 02-08-2012 17:57

  • says :
    That's a wonderful project you are doing!
    Posted 02-08-2012 15:09

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