What is Bio Gas?
Biogas is basically a combination of gases that is produced as a result of fermentation or decay of organic wastes such as sewage, food scraps, animal manure and plant decay.
When this combination of organic waste is subjected to decay without any oxygen present, a variety of gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, is produced. Methane carries prominent significance in all the gases produced on the basis of its usage and consumption in industries as well as at homes. Overall, it serves as a very valuable fuel.
Large volumes of biogas are being subjected into our environment on a daily basis. A wide portion of our daily wastes, including toilet and kitchen waste, end up somewhere in a sewage pit ultimately resulting in the production of biogas.
Precisely speaking, this biogas should be recycled back and re-used in the kitchen for cooking food, boiling water and other domestic purposes. The reusability of this biogas can save our society hundreds of dollars that we spend on firewood, kerosene, charcoal and cooking gas each year.
GPS Renewables: (India)
The city of Bengaluru, India is struggling under pressure on figuring out tactics to deal with its immense waste generated everyday. Most of the garbage is being disposed in various areas of the city, leading to an increase in environmental pollution. However, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel for this situation.
Almost 1 tonne of organic waste generated in Bengaluru is converted into biogas on a daily basis instead of becoming a part of organic waste. Some major bulk biogas generators here include Akshaya Patra, The Art of Living, Infosys and TVS.
The biogas start-up “GPS Renewables” operates with the aim of providing the technology for achieving this target. GPS Renewables has set up units for recycling biogas in their premises. The company converts around 20 tonnes of organic waste in its 30 biogas plants operating across a total of 11 states. This recycled biogas can be used in producing approx. 1400kg of LPG. The company was founded by IIM-Bengaluru graduates Sreekrishna Sankar and Mainak Chakraborty in the midst of April 2015 and has now operating units in Japan, Malaysia and Bangladesh as well.
The start-up makes use of the Biourja System, a that helps in digesting bio-waste and producing bulks of biogas in return. The biogas plants require no human intervention to manage their operation. They mainly make use of the Internet Of Things feature. Any indigestion problem faced by the plants can be checked by using remote technology.
The co-founders of GPS Renewables bear the opinion that if the city of Bengaluru strictly manages its wastes effectively, it can generate a bulk amount of around 20 million kg LPG each year. This milestone, if achieved, can reduce the waste management issue associated with the city to a great extent.
The western world and developing countries still face problems while dealing with organic wastes. According to the World Health Organization, around 4 million people are affected form the indirect and direct effects of cooking using charcoal and solid fuels.
The Israeli inventors of the HomeBioGas System have plans to deal with this issue and suggest a safe and sustainable solution to this issue. HomeBioGas’s TevaGas device works as a bio-digester and is the first one of its kind that is made available in the market. A bio-digester is basically a device that is fed organic waste and converts it into biogas fuel through processes involved in a warm atmosphere. The biogas fuel produced can be utilized in household purposes. The device doesn’t lack any details and is perfect in the sense that there aren’t any unwanted odours generated during the process.
Thus, any normal user can make use of this device by feeding the food waste or any other organic trash to this device in order to attain renewable and clean biogas that can be utilized in cooking meals three times a day. Moreover, the chemicals that are left over during the conversion process can be used in gardens as liquid fertilizers.
In India, major economic hubs and metropolitan areas produce bulks of waste. Sampur(e)arth is another environment-friendly start-up that focuses on providing appropriate technological means for dealing with waste management in the city of Mumbai. The mega city, at present, produces around 9400 tons of waste on a daily basis. Unfortunately, only 3,000 tons of this waste is processed.
Debartha Banerjee, Jayanth S and Ritwik Rao, the co-founders of the start-up have focused on recycling organic waste through installing biogas plants and thus, transforming waste into fertilizers and biogas in the city.
Sampurn(e)arth, also won the Global Social Venture Competition that was organized by Haas School of Business at Berkeley for its effort in helping waste pickers in increasing their financial stability.
The start-up is serving over 100 clients at the moment which include townships, corporate houses as well as educational institutions. Sampurh(e)arth is now seeking a second round of funding in the upcoming few months. The start-up is also all set to install a 5,000 kg per day biogas plant in Rajkot Municipal Corporation.
Future of Biogas
What future awaits biogas start-ups? One thing is certain for sure. The current threats to the global environment are devastating and the initiative by all these biogas entrepreneurs is certain to make a drastic and positive impact on the environment. However, it is crucial for all these start-ups to develop strategic alliances and to orient themselves in a way that is favourable to their success.