Andhra Pradesh

Waste water to biogas, Vignan scientists show the way

Chairman of Vignan Educational Institutions Lavu Rathaiah compliments Shiva Kiran.

Chairman of Vignan Educational Institutions Lavu Rathaiah compliments Shiva Kiran.   | Photo Credit: ; - T_VIJAYA_KUMAR

Plant in the varsity now produces enough gas to run a canteen

A group of biotechnologists from Vignan University have developed a model for conversion of domestic sewage water into biogas and bio-manure.

Led by scientist M.S Shivakiran, Department of Biotechnology, VU, two students Manikanta and Ravichandra, the model has employed a method called ‘Phytoremediation’ through which aquatic plants like water hyacinth could be used to produce biogas.

Mr. Shivakiran said, about four lakh litre of waste water was released from the university buildings into the open fields breeding waste weed and mosquitoes. The team decided to take up a project, “Cost effective method of wastewater treatment by phyto remediation with concurrent production of biogas and bio-manure.”

“This project is aimed at water conservation. Biogas can be produced from any plant. Aquatic plants like water hyacinth has a lot of biomass which is used to produce bio gas. We used a machine to chop water hyacinth and feed the mass into a biogas plant,” he said.

Accolades

The project has received accolades from Optimal Technology Solutions, Chennai, which has invested ₹1 lakh in this project. It has been selected for Nobel Award series, 2017, secured first prize in Shark Tank and selected for Nidhi-Prayas; and Jagrithi Yatra, 2017. Chairman of Vignan University Lavu Rathaiah has given a financial assistance of ₹3 lakh for the project.

The manure produced by biogas slurry is a good manure and can be used as a manure for increasing green cover in townships. A biogas plant in the university now produces 200 litres of gas daily; enough to run a canteen.

Mr. Shivakiran said they experimented by setting up a trench of 2,000 litre capacity in which Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is being cultivated. Hyacinth is known as the worst aquatic weed that grows profusely in polluted water which propagates luxuriantly by taking up the organic and mineral matter from the wastewater. The plant biomass is then chopped and pulverised in a organic waste converter to make it convenient for digestion of biomass in the biogas plant. The biogas produced is being supplied to the hostels and mess and the bio-manure is being utilised in the herbal garden. “We estimate that 10,000 litres of sewage can produce 3.33 kg of Water hyacinth and 1 kg of plant biomass can generate 200 litres of biogas and 900 grams of slurry or manure,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:51:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/waste-water-to-biogas-vignan-scientists-show-the-way/article19957065.ece

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