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Scientists sell biogas idea for waste management in Chennai Corporation

Staff Reporter
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BARC, Mumbai, seeks commissioning of its indigenous plants in city limits

daily burdenAround 4,900 tonnes of waste is generated in the city every day. The garbage collected is mostly deposited in the Perungudi and Kodungaiyur dumping yards —Photo: M. Karunakaran
daily burdenAround 4,900 tonnes of waste is generated in the city every day. The garbage collected is mostly deposited in the Perungudi and Kodungaiyur dumping yards —Photo: M. Karunakaran

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has knocked on the doors of the Chennai Corporation to sell its garbage segregation technology.

On Saturday, a few BARC scientists met with officials of the civic body and the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for commissioning of its indigenously-developed Nisargruna biogas plants in the city.

If implemented here, the technology may be a step in the right direction to revive source segregation of garbage. The team from BARC sought commissioning of the plant in Koyambedu market complex. CMDA shoulders the responsibility of garbage clearance in the market complex.

The Chennai Corporation is yet to make a decision on using the technology as it has a few options before it. Around 4,900 tonnes of waste is generated in the Chennai Corporation limits every day.

The BARC technology is likely to be yet another option for generating energy using waste. The technology will also help to light up streetlights using the energy generated.

Around 30 per cent of municipal solid waste is biodegradable. A tonne of biodegradable waste can produce 25-30 kg of methane, about 150 kg of carbon dioxide and 50-60 kg of organic manure.

Methane-enriched biogas can be used to generate electricity or heat. The technology offers a decentralised way of garbage disposal as 300 sq. ft. of land in a locality is enough to process one tonne of waste every day.

Residents will have to segregate the waste for the project to be successful. This is the most challenging aspect of the project.

BARC, Mumbai, has developed the technology to process biodegradable waste resource materials originating in kitchens, markets and abattoirs. Yet another aspect of the technology is its ability to generate resource even from hazardous biological sludge. The technology is said to be relatively simple and does not involve imports.

BARC claimed the plants could be operated by unskilled workers after they are trained for a month. The plants can also serve as power houses in fringe areas of the city.

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