Palanpur-based Banas Dairy opened its first bio–CNG refuelling outlet last week, after it began generating bio–CNG from dung. The dairy has begun selling this CNG at Rs 50 a kg, . This price is lower than the prevailing market rate for the fuel. The first bio–CNG outlet became operational last week,
“We have made a 100-member team consisting graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), and Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) to work on this project,” said Chaudhary who is also a senior BJP leader.
The Banas Dairy procures milk from these villages and has an idea of the number of cattle each farmer owns. In the morning, tractors equipped with weighing scales visit each farmer and collect cow dung after weighing them. These tractors make 14-15 trips daily to the biogas plant. “The money is transferred to their bank accounts in 15 days . It is like the same way we do it for the milk procured from them. We began collecting cow dung from May 20 and we have already paid more than Rs 7 lakh to the farmers,” says Priyank Mehta, executive engineer working on this project.
A real gift post pandemic for the farmers
The Banas Dairy had begun the project in February but had to shut it down due to the pandemic. “We restarted it only in May. Usually, the methane emanated from cow dung disperses into the atmosphere and harms it. Our attempt through this project is to tap it and convert it into fuel,” Mehta said.
Once the cow dung reaches the biogas plant, it is mixed with water in 1:1 ratio for two-three hours and then fed into a digester which is a closed tank where the mixture is kept for 35 days in absence of oxygen. Then the liquid and solid part of this mixture is separated and are used as fertilizers. Meanwhile, the gas emanated from the digester is collected in large balloon- shaped tanks. This gas is purified in a plant where carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and other gases are removed. About 95-97 per cent of the remaining gas will be methane. This gas is then compressed and sold as CNG.
“We do not transport it as our dispenser which can feed 100 vehicles a day is just 50 meters away from the biogas plant,” Mehta added.
Banas Dairy chairman Shankar Chaudhary said that the biogas plant was ready to dispense CNG and will be inaugurated in the coming weeks.
“We are also researching to see if tractors could be run using this CNG. This could turn out to be a boon for this region where the main source of income is agriculture,” he added.
As reported in Ntional dailies “TOI and The Indian express