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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Hyderabad market uses vegetable waste to generate electricity, biofuel

The electricity being generated is used to light up over a 100 streetlights, 170 stalls, an administrative building and the water supply network.

Almost 10 tonnes of waste collected every day at Hyderabad’s Bowenpally market — including vegetable, fruit, and even flower waste — is now being used to generate around 500 units of electricity and 30 kg of biofuel.

While the electricity being generated is used to light up over a 100 streetlights, 170 stalls, an administrative building and the water supply network, the generated biofuel is pumped into the canteen kitchen of the market, The New Indian Express reported. 

Calling it the ‘way ahead for a sustainable future’ Bowenpally selection grade secretary Lokini Srinivas said, “One would have never imagined that vegetable trash can be so valuable. This is the first initiative taken up by any vegetable market in the State to convert organic waste to electricity. We had started the project almost six months ago on a trial basis, which is now giving us very good results. For the bio-vegetable plant, we are using waste that is entirely generated here. We also collected vegetable waste from some nearby vegetable markets and supermarts. The Bowenpally market requires around 800-900 units of electricity on a daily basis, of which 500 units are now being generated from the waste management plant.” 

How does it work?

Tonnes of vegetable waste in the Hyderabad market is first put on conveyor belts that carry the waste to shredders in order to initiate the process of biomethanation. Then, the shredded waste is converted into a slurry.

This is then put into large containers or pits to start the process of anaerobic digestion. 

Eventually, the organic waste is converted into biofuel, which has two major components — methane and carbon dioxide. 

Shruti Ahuja, director of Ahuja Engineering, the agency that is operating the plant for the Bowenpally market, explains that fuel is then put into ‘100 per cent biogas generators’ that converts the fuel into electricity, and reaches the market’s electricity bulbs.

Shruti said that apart from generating electricity and biofuel, the plant is also generating organic manure that can be used in farming.  “The biggest benefactor here is the environment. Ten tonnes of waste which would have just piled up at some landfill is now generating biofuel and bio manure,” she said.

The Department of Biotechnology and the Bowenpally Committee funds this distributor-waste-management model.

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