The connection of biogas with the cow and its manure (dung) is pretty old. In India, Biogas is commonly known as Gobar Gas. Having cattle in India is quite common in village areas, which assures the availability of ample manure for small scale biogas plants. On the other hand, Gaushalas (having milk or non-milking cows) have a high amount of manure available and are more suited for setting up large-scale biogas plants. The large-scale biogas plants also provide an alternative revenue source to the gaushalas and help in managing their waste. In this blog post, we are going to talk about one such interesting plant situated in Hardiwar.
The plant has been established at “Shree Krishnayan Desi Gauraksha Evam Gaulok Dham Seva Samiti” Gaushala, located at Nauragabad, Gendikhata, Najibabad Road, Hardiwar, Uttarkhand. This is the largest gaushala in Uttarakhand mainly taking care of more than 2200 non-milking cows.
ONGC undertook a unique initiative to convert cow manure into useful fuel and value-added products by setting up a Bio-CNG cum Fertilizer & Bottling Plant at Haridwar. A Bio-CNG plant is also known as a compressed Biogas Plant or a Biomethane plant in western countries. Presently, the plant is being run by the Gaushala and helping in carrying out waste management in a clean and hygienic manner in the Gaushala premises. The Bio-CNG Project is facilitating the availability of a clean environment for the local population of Haridwar. It is also helping in protecting the fauna (i.e. 2200 non-milking cows) by making the Gaushala self-sustaining from the revenue generated from the project. The plant is also producing organic solid and liquid fertilizers which are distributed among the local farmers thereby promoting organic farming.
The capacity of the biogas plant is 20 tonnes per day (TPD) using cow manure and organic waste. The digester capacity of the installed biogas plant is 20 TPD and biogas production capacity is about 1000 cubic meter of raw biogas daily, which generates about 400 Kgs per day of Bio-CNG.
The manure is collected and brought to the plant and kept on the feeding area. During the feeding process, waste is added in the ratio of 1:1 in the mixing pit. Then it is fed into the biogas plant where under anaerobic conditions at around 35 degree Celsius and continuous mixing the biogas is produced. Stirring is done using agitators inside the digester.
Stirring prevents the formation of sediments layers and brings the micro-organisms in contact with the new feedstock particles. It also homogenizes the mixture and helps distribute heat and nutrients through the whole mass of the substrate.
From here the produced biogas is fed to the biogas upgradation plant where it is upgraded. The upgraded biogas is compressed up to 200 Bar G with the help of a compressor and then fed into CNG cylinder cascades for storage and transport, as shown in the image below:
The produced Bio-CNG or compressed Biogas is sold to the nearby industry. The slurry which comes out of the digester goes to the solid-liquid separator where it gets separated. The gaushala is able to sell the dried part of the slurry and the liquid slurry to the nearby farmers.
A cost sheet has been given below to give you a glimpse about how a biogas plant can help in generating alternative revenue sources for a Gaushala, without including the revenue from the slurry.
As we can see from the above case, if financial assistance is given to Gaushalas’, which are not able to fund the biogas project by themselves, it can provide the gaushalas with more revenues sources which will lead to their self-sustainability. This case also shows that a compressed biogas plant will be even more favourable to gaushala’s that have milking cows because it will create additional revenue sources for them.
If entrepreneurs come forward and explore the possibilities of installing biogas plants at Gaushala’s, they will not only open up growth opportunities in the sector but will also generate many jobs opportunities for their countrymen, in addition to making gaushalas self-sustainable.
Disclaimer: The opinion, views, data, images presented in this blog is shared by the guest author in his/her personal capacity. The expressed opinion in no-way reflects the standpoint of Indian Biogas Association (IBA).