Home Sectors Waste Management in India will Catalyze Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Waste Management in India will Catalyze Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Sector : Waste
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Indian landscape is dotted with over 600,000 villages that are production hubs with multiple outputs such as wheat, rice, paddy etc. One of the key issues that plague this production ecosystem is the burning of crop residues that emits large amounts of trace gases such as methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.

The lack of fuel supply across rural India make cooking gas/CNG a core requirement of everyday life, which further compounds the environmental hazards posed by existing agricultural practices. Given the distributed landscape of villages and the strained channels of transport, it is imperative to design solutions that can convert each village into a self-sustainable production ecosystem. One such solution to this situation is Biogas, which is a clean and efficient fuel produced from Cattle Dung, Human Excreta and other organic matter in a Biogas plant.

India is unique in its potential for biogas because of the extremely large number of cattle available. With the largest cattle population in the world of over 280 million, India has about 1 cow per 4 persons. With over 600,000 villages the potential for biogas plants in each village to serve the needs of that village is immense. To a large degree, the amount of dung available is a critical factor of the installation design of a biogas plant. The size of a plant, cattle dung available and estimated cost is shown below:

Size of Plant Quantity of cattle dung required per day Number of Households
100 cubic meters 2500 kg 200-300
200 cubic meters 5000 kg 400-600
400 cubic meters 10000 kg 1000-1200
600 cubic meters 15000 kg 1400-1600

Most agricultural processes make extensive use of cattle and like Indian villages, the cattle stock is generally scattered. Additionally, cattle stock is generally used for agricultural purposes in addition to dairy farming – India is also the world’s leading producer of milk. These numbers provide a compelling case for an increased use of biogas plants.

The 'Digestion' process within the Biogas plant contains approximately 60% Methane that is inflammable; the produced gas is cleaned and compressed to produce a reduction in inefficient burning. By increasing efficiency of firewood use, diesel consumption and carbon-di-oxide output, the biogas plant prepares a village for long-term sustainability.

With over 35% of Indian villages off the grid, there is a pressing need to infuse them with electricity access and multiply output. Over 20 states of the 29 in India are yet to reach 100% electrification in the villages.

ETI Dynamics in collaboration with HBR India is launching Biogas Plants across the Indian rural sector. With the installation of biogas plants, the agricultural input-output system will be a complete ecosystem that can empower at the grassroots.

Waste Management entails multiple outputs such as:

  • Recycled waste that can be sold to Waste-to-Energy Plants
  • Biogas Fuel
  • Tipping Fee
  • Proceeds from sale of energy generated.
  • Conversion of every village into a power-generation point; net metering can create a grid of inter-connected villages that can trade energy.

A big feature of this system is the entrepreneurship cycle that it can generate – with the potential for energy generation being realized across 200,000 Indian villages, it will have a profound impact on the localized economy. Each such biogas plant has the potential to create employment for about 10 persons directly and through the energy generated, indirectly create employment for over 50 persons. Through an ecosystem that converts agricultural output to energy, the entrepreneurial cycle has the potential to grow exponentially.

Courtesy:  We are grateful to Hari Bhari Recycling Pvt Ltd. for providing the contents of this article