Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: A four MW power plant can be installed by making use of solid waste generated in Tiruchi city alone, according to M. Kamaraj, Professor, Department of Bioenergy, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

Similarly one MW of electricity can be generated when 36 MLD (million of litres per day) gets treated and purified through anaerobic digestion. The cost of investment required to create such waste water treatment system can be recovered within two years. The TNAU has developed a technology to treat the waste water within a day, Prof. Kamaraj said, delivering the key note address at a day-long Renewable Energy Orientation cum Awareness camp organised by the Science Club of Mookambikai College of Engineering at Kalamavur near here recently with sponsorship from the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA).

Prof. Kamaraj appealed to engineering colleges to replace usage of conventional electricity with renewable energy sources like biogas, solar energy and wind energy such that they could become demonstration cum training centres to develop entrepreneurship in the field of renewable energy sources. Likewise, engineering colleges could opt for solar cooking and generate biogas by making use of kitchen waste and other bio-gradable waste.

Stressing the need for close industry-institution tie up, he urged engineering colleges to adopt villages. For creation of smokeless model village, the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) was providing the required matching grant through TEDA for generation of one KW power through biogas. The MNRE provides a subsidy of Rs. 40,000.

Prof. Kamaraj said the TNAU has developed a smokeless chulha for Rs. 80. Smokefree villages could be created through adoption of such technologies. Poultry farms, industries like sago factories, food processing industries, rubber industries, and leather industries can meet their entire energy requirement through bio-metharation route, thereby building capability for treating their wastes in an environment-friendly way.

Presiding, M. Sekar, College Registrar, spoke of the College's plans to erect solar cooker and night soil-based biogas plants in the hostel after obtaining the necessary sanction. The Extension Manager of TEDA Bharathi also delivered a lecture.