A team from IIT Delhi has stepped forward to offer technical support for Asia's first biogas-based power plant. The plant in Fazilka, Punjab, will be producing biogas on a large scale by using paddy straw. This technology will not only produce sustainable energy but will also provide the farmers with bio-fertilizer.
The plant is completely reliant on the use of paddy straw. It has recorded a production of close to 4,000 cubic metres of biogas per day using 10 tonnes of straw. It has been generating 1MW power. This plant can be the solution to the national capital’s pollution problem, 70% of which is caused by burning the farm waste in Punjab, Haryana and other Indian cities.
Professor V K Vijay, Centre for Rural Development and Technology (CRDT), IIT-D, talked about the productivity of farm waste and said that if this waste is not burnt, it can be utilised to produce 2.181 million tonnes of oil equivalent or 25,365 gigaWatt hours per year.
He also suggested that burning of straw can be avoided if commercial biogas industries are established using agro biomass for both bio-fertilizer production and power generation. This will not only help enrich the soil but will also help in controlling pollution.
He said that burning straw biomass adds up to 30kg of particulate matter, 600kg of carbon monoxide, 14.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide along with 20kg of sulphur dioxide emissions that are very harmful to humans as well as the environment.
A research scholar and doctoral fellow working under Vijay, Abhinav Trivedi developed this process that is a much better efficiency than originally used processes for biogas generation.
Dr Ramchandra, CRDT, IIT Delhi informed that the initiative was star said the project was started by the government of Punjab in collaboration with Sampurn Agri Ventures Pvt. Ltd. in December 2011.