Rural India’s experiment with biogas has seen more downs than ups with the Centrally-sponsored scheme slowly falling off the radar of the public as well as the policy makers.
However, Sistema.bio, a Mexican company, hopes to bring back focus on this clean alternative fuel with their biodigesters, which the company claims is more efficient and long lasting than traditional technologies.
Camilo Pages, co-founder of this enterprise, talked about the usage of fluid dynamics in their digester which makes it more efficient and long lasting than brick and mortar dome type reactors.
Farmers are expected to ‘feed’ animal waste and water mixture at the inlet pipe of the bio membrane structure and the slurry which is used as a fertilizer leaves from the outlet pipe.
Bio gas, a byproduct of the anaerobic reaction of the manure, leaves from a piped outlet, and it can be used for domestic purposes. Piyush Sohani, managing director of the India operations, said that for a farmer with 2-3 animals, the gas produced would be enough to meet the daily needs of a small family.
Use of bio-membrane makes the operation of this system both easy and portable. The bio-membrane structure is fitted in a shallow pit dug in the ground with both the inlet and outlet pipes above ground.
The system can be fitted with a pump if the gas needs to be transported to some distance. Sohani said the life span of the system is nearly 10-15 years and can be transported if needed. “Our system is more sturdy and easy to use than the traditional systems,” he said.
Once the central point of policy makers, who wanted to provide alternative green fuel to rural populace, the popularity of biogas had fallen over the years.
Easy availability of cooking fuel like LPG has seen many opting for the same. However, as prices of LPG along with that of fuel like diesel and petrol have touched a new high, biogas can provide the alternative to farmers who have livestock, Sohani said. “The slurry is an excellent fertilizer and can help increase the yields of farmers,” he said.
Sistema.bio had started its India operations in 2018 and in the past few years, it has expanded its footprints in 14 states with thousands of installations. On Friday, the company announced the commencement of its manufacturing in India with a total investment of Rs 20 crore. The facility in Chakan has the capacity to supply 30,000 systems a year. “In the next five years, we aim to upgrade our production also,” he said.