M.P. Praveen

Produces 32 kg biogas from a tonne of waste

One tonne plant to cost Rs.8 lakh

Ensures 70 per cent methane content

Kochi: The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed an innovative biogas plant model which may prove to be a boon to the State plagued by garbage menace. Thrissur and Kozhikode Corporations have sought permission from the State government for adopting the technology.

The project will be implemented as soon as the consent is received, K. Balachandra Kurup, Executive Director of Socio Economic Unit Foundation (SEUF), the nodal agency for the implementation of the project, said. More local self-government bodies have evinced interest in the project, he said.

SEUF holds the patent for the BARC model and will provide technical support in its implementation.

Unlike the conventional biogas plants, the BARC plant ensures increased production of biogas per tonne of waste, reduces waste processing time and provides for the separate treatment of slurry generated by it.

The cost of setting up a one tonne-capacity plant would be about Rs.8 lakh, while a 2-tonne plant would cost about Rs.14 lakh, Georgekutty Joseph, Technical Director of SEUF, said.

The main drawback of conventional biogas plants is the unscientific management of slurry, which is just allowed to ooze out into open surfaces polluting groundwater and soil. Under the BARC technology, the slurry will get filtered into separate compartments. While the liquid part will be recycled in the operation of the plant, the solid particles will be dried and used for making fertilizers, Mr. Joseph said.

The BARC model ensures production of 32 kg biogas per tonne of waste, compared to 20-22 kg by conventional biogas plants.

The methane content in biogas, which determines the caloric value of biogas, produced by BARC plants would be at least 10 per cent more than the methane content in the gas produced by other plants.

The BARC technology ensures 70 per cent methane content compared to 55-60 per cent by conventional biogas plants.

Since the BARC model preserves an optimum temperature of 55 degree Celsius inside the plant, it will help cut down the waste processing time. The processing time would be almost halved from 35 days, as is the case in conventional biogas plants. This will also help to reduce the plant size since the size is connected to the processing time.

In the BARC plant, the waste will be fed in paste form guaranteeing efficient treatment, Mr. Joseph said.