Thanks to high LPG price, homemakers turn to biogas

Preethi Jayaram, a homemaker, near her biogas plant at Thanneermukkom on Saturday.  

Preethi Jayaram, a homemaker from Kannankara in Thanneermukkom grama panchayat, loves cooking with gas, but the frequent hike in Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder price has upset her family’s domestic budget.

That said, she no longer needs to worry about the LPG price. In a bid to reduce her dependence on LPG, Ms. Jayaram made a transition to biogas by turning water hyacinth, an aquatic weed found aplenty in the region, into biofuel. "On an average, my family used to buy one LPG cylinder every month. I started using water hyacinth-based biogas three months ago and haven't ordered an LPG cylinder since then," Ms. Jayaram says.

The present biogas plant in the backyard of her house has a limited capacity but is producing methane enough to generate good blue flames for at least an hour a day. After finding success, she has set up another plant with a 1,000-litre capacity, which she hopes to make operational soon. "The new plant has the capacity to generate two hours of biogas every day," she says.

With the LPG price skyrocketing, several women are turning to biogas, utilising waste water generated from rubber sheet production, Salvinia (African Payal), water hyacinth, colocasia, food waste, which act as a substrate for methanogenic bacteria inside the bioreactor.

Anurama Pushpakumar of Chakkarakulam in Cherthala has been using colocasia-based (taro) biogas since May. "I am using the leaves and stems of wild taro which are abundant in my place for producing biogas. It has helped to reduce my dependence on LPG for cooking. The slurry from the digester is used as a biofertilizer,” says Ms. Pushpakumar.

Biogas is seen by many as a green energy revolution. Anuroop G., a Thanneermukkom-based social entrepreneur who is engaged in promoting biofuel, says there has been an increased demand for biogas plants in recent months.

“A biogas plant can be set up at as low as ₹₹11,000. By spending ₹16,500-17,500, one can set up a quality plant. The quantity of biogas depends on three major factors: tank capacity, intake quantity and quality. For example, slurry from rubber sheet production can generate more methane. On an average, a 1,000-litre tank can produce two hours of biogas from 6 kg of intake a day,” Mr. Anuroop says.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 3:57:54 AM |

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