Gangagni Rao, a senior principal scientist at IICT and his team have developed the new age AGR for Indian conditions that ensures high rate of biogas production through appropriate mixing, biomass high density, buffering capacity, slurry concentration, microbial culture inhibition mechanisms etc.
“Earlier version of small conventional digesters using cattle manure to generate gas and bio-fertiliser became inoperable after a while because of accumulation of scum, choking and poor biogas quality, said Mr. Rao.
“They could not be scaled up too,” added Mr. Rao.
Mr. Rao pointed that food waste can be utilised for generating biogas as they are available in large quantities and highly bio-degradable instead of taking them to landfills.
There is a patent on the AGR technology. The technology has been transferred to a local firm, Ahuja Engineering Services Pvt. Ltd, to execute the projects on turnkey basis.
Mr. Rao said that initially a biogas plant was tested using poultry litter at Medak district in Telangana state, where for one tonne of poultry a day, 200 kg of bio-manure was produced and 89 kWh power was generated for operation of farm pumps. The plant is closed now.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which runs the mid-day meals scheme, is successfully running AGR plants with investment of less than Rs. 50 lakh each at Bellary and Ahmedabad utilising up to 1.5 tonnes of food waste a day and replacing LPG cylinders with biogas for kitchens.