Chennai

Green energy from Mambalam market

Every day, when the shutters have rolled down at the vegetable market on Station Road in West Mambalam, JCB loaders and tippers trundle in to clear the vegetable refuse — essentially, vegetables that have failed to find a buyer and beginning to rot.

Now, a part of this vegetable refuse goes to Shri Shankarlal Sundarbai Shasun Jain College for Women in T. Nagar, to run a biogas plant that contributes towards the operation of the college kitchen.

The kitchen consumes 90 commercial LPG cylinders per month, each weighing 14.5 kg. The biogas plant has replaced six of them. The project benefits both vendors at the local vegetable market and the college. “The plant produces 2kg of bio-gas for every 50kg of bio-degradable waste fed into it. A by-product is the slurry that can be used as manure. Waste that are acidic and fibre-rich should be avoided. This includes banana leaves and peels of citrus fruits. Among cooked food, dairy products should be avoided,” explains Monica Sethiya, a member of the ENACTUS chapter of the college.

“Students and the staff of the college pass through the market while heading towards the Mambalam railway station. The place is littered with garbage and slippery. We decided to use biodegradable waste from here for our biogas plant, which was at the planning stage then. We knew that the biodegradable waste generated on the college campus would not be sufficient. The gardener of the college goes to the market every day and collects the vegetable waste,” says Sundara Meena, a faculty at the college. In addition, the team is planning to tie up with two textile shops in T. Nagar to collect food waste and vegetable peels from their food courts.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 3:19:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/green-energy-from-mambalam-market/article24058910.ece

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