The Deonar abattoir is set to process its own waste and generate energy as the BMC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to set up a 20 metric tonne (MT) biomethanation plant on the premises. This was necessitated after the National Green Tribunal had ordered the abattoir to cease slaughter of all animals for export after activities at the slaughterhouse were found to ‘violate environmental norms’, a year ago.
Biomethanation is a process by which organic material is microbiologically converted under anaerobic conditions to biogas. “We will first target animal waste. The methane gas produced will be directed to the boiler units. Any surplus electricity can be used for other purposes. Thus, we can process waste and reduce our energy consumption as well,” said Appasing Pawra, deputy general manager, Deonar abattoir.
The new plant will replace the dysfunctional four-metric tonne plant. At present, Deonar abattoir generates 75-80 MT of waste everyday that makes its way to the already-full dumping ground.
According to Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), vegetable waste generated such as rumen, waste from intestinal contents, dung, agricultural residues was being disposed off by deep burial method in a dumping ground instead of bio-methanation, which was in breach of the consent condition. It was also found that Deonar slaughtering house had failed to install the rendering plant, which meant that the waste generated such as tissues, meat trimmings, condemned meat, bones were not being properly disposed of.
So in an attempt to process its waste in an “environment-friendly” manner, abattoir authorities sought to set up two biomethanation plants, a five MT and a 15 MT, in the premises, at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore.
While a conventional plant can handle only dung and human waste, BARC’s ‘NISARG-RUNA’ plant can process almost any biodegradable waste including kitchen waste, paper, grass, gobar and dry leaves. The plant generates energy based on sequential aerobic-anaerobic processes.
“The plant achieves the dream of ‘zero garbage, zero effluent and zero energy process’ as more energy is generated in the form of biogas than energy spent in the operation of the plant. The manure generated is weed-free and rich in organic carbon contents and acts as a better soil conditioner than any other organic manure. The biogas has good fuel value and can be used for thermal purpose or can be converted to electricity,” said Sharad Kale, head of Nuclear Agriculture Biotechnology Division, BARC.
Till date, BARC has set up these biogas plants, invented by the institution in 2001, in 13 other establishments, including IIIT-B and TISS.