Six biogas plants to produce energy to fuel streetlights and canteens

Six mammoth biogas plants, to be inaugurated by the end of the year in various parts of the Kozhikode Medical College campus, will make the facility a model in waste management.

The energy generated from the plants will fuel the canteens and streetlights in the Medical College.

First plant

The first of these plants with a capacity of 500 kg, which has successfully completed a pilot run, will become operational adjacent to the chest hospital inside the campus in two weeks time.

The plants are being constructed and maintained by the Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC), the research wing of Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad.

The IRTC specialises in solid waste management and watershed-based development projects.

Test runs

“We have conducted test runs of the first plant of over the past one week. It has a capacity to process 500 kilogram of waste per day. Barring minor glitches, it is working as planned. The gas generated from the plant was tested successfully as a fuel in the canteen,” said C.V. Sudheendran, Consulting Engineer of the project.

The plant can generate fuel to run the canteen for six hours per day, thus providing a considerable saving in cooking gas, a scarce supply nowadays.

Another plant is designed to take care of the street lighting inside the campus.

Each of the plants consists of two underground chambers, to which are connected the effluent pipe from the toilets and canteens in that vicinity.

Handling waste

The plants can handle both faecal waste from latrines and biodegradable waste from canteens. The outlet from the plant is routed to the kitchen.

No lemon

“The only consideration in dumping the biodegradable waste is to avoid substances like lemon that can raise the pH value of the waste matter. The plant needs cleaning only once in five years to remove the sludge collected below it,” said K. Sreedharan, former director of the IRTC, who is closely involved with the project.


Out of the six plants inside the campus, two are located near the main hospital building and one each near the nurse’s hospital, Indian Coffee House, super speciality hospital, and chest hospital.

Three of these plants are of 2,000 kg capacity each, two of 1,500 kg capacity each, and one of 500 kg.

The 2,000-kg plant costs Rs.23 lakh, the 1,500-kg plant Rs.16 lakh, and the 500 kg plant Rs.7 lakh.

Except one plant of 1,500 kg capacity that is funded by the city Corporation, all others have funding from the State government.

“We are expecting to make two more plants operational by March and the rest of the plants by the end of this year. This can hopefully solve most of the waste related issues inside the Medical College campus,” said Mr. Sreedharan.

The IRTC has already implemented similar plants on a smaller scale at the Balussery Taluk Hospital and near a public toilet at Kunnamangalam.

  • Plants to be inaugurated in a year’s time

  • Funding is by Corporation and State government