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 Community bio-gas plant to come up in Mau

VARANASI: For the promotion of green or non-conventional energy sources, the Jatropha Mission Cell, Department of Planning, is taking initiative to expand its activities in eastern UP.

"We have identified a place in Mau for the creation of community bio-gas plant based on solid and liquid wastes," informed PS Ojha, the state coordinator of the cell. He is hopeful of beginning a bio-gas unit in Mau within a month. "We have also made a proposal to the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for the establishment of a demonstration plant of bio-diesel from jatropha on its Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, Barkachha," he said.

According to Ojha, Government of India has modified the 'Total Sanitation Campaign' (TSC) guidelines to incorporate the management of solid and liquid wastes. "We have started a 1000-cubic metre bio-gas plant at a village in Sant Kabir Nagar district for electricity generation for villagers," he said and added "the projects of 100-cubic metre bio-gas plants have sanction for other districts including Mathura, Jyotiba Phole Nagar and Mau. The bio-gas produced by from wastes is a clean-fuel."

Earlier, the cell had established a bio-gas unit at Mishrawallia village in Ballia district in 2008 for piped bio-gas supply to rural households. According to him, all types of wastes, including solid and liquid, are utilised in bio-gas production.

"Beside community bio-gas plants, we also promote family size (10-cubic metre) units for the need of a family," he said. Such bio-gas units have been incorporated in the Ramabai Ambedkar Gramin Urja Pariyojna. Referring to a report of the ministry of agriculture, he said though crop-increasing value of animal faeces had been recognised, more than 50% of the cattle dung was either burnt or remained unmanaged.

"Traditionally the cattle dung, along with house sweeping, is collected in the open backyard in rural areas. The most common way of disposal of cow dung is to convert it into dung cakes that are burnt as fuel in rural households," he said. Burning the cow dung not only adds to carbon emission, which is a green house gas leading to ozone layer depletion, but also is an inefficient way of using the dung which is rich in calorific value and can generate efficient form of fuel if properly decomposed in a bio-digester.

According to him, anaerobic decomposition of organic waste leads to methane production, which is a good fuel. As per calorific value table one kg of methane gas is more or less equal in energy content to one kg of petrol, LPG, kerosene or diesel. The 'gobar' gas research station in Kanpur Gaushala Samiti has established that one cow gives enough cow-dung in a year to produce methane gas equivalent to 255 litres of petrol in energy terms. The cow dung and other organic wastes in rural areas can be used to produce methane gas. It is estimated that with existing cattle population, India can produce enough methane gas to entirely replace LPG and kerosene in cooking, and substitute petrol in transportation. "Methane gas can also generate enough electricity to meet all requirements, at least in rural areas. The by-product can serve as excellent organic manure, substituting chemical fertilisers," he said. "The advantages of the use of waste in bio-gas generation include sanitation, energy security, pollution control, and employment generation," he added.


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