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INDIA'S COMPRESSED BIOGAS SECTOR OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES



  May 14, 2024

INDIA'S COMPRESSED BIOGAS SECTOR OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES



Introduction to Compressed Biogas (CBG)

Compressed Biogas (CBG) is a renewable form of energy produced from the anaerobic digestion of organic waste such as agricultural residue, municipal waste, and animal waste. This process produces biogas, which is then purified and compressed to form CBG. The advantages of CBG include enhancing waste management, promoting local clean energy production, and reducing reliance on imported compressed natural gas (CNG).

Current Scenario

India’s CBG sector is gaining momentum towards its goal of establishing 5,000 CBG projects nationwide under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme. This sector has seen significant activity in recent years, but it is dominated by a handful of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) developers and technology providers offering comprehensive solutions.

Key Areas Needing Attention

1. Regional-Level Feedstock Mapping:

- Current Challenge: While national data on feedstock availability exists, CBG projects need precise, localized estimates for planning purposes.

- Opportunity: Utilizing artificial intelligence can help forecast accurate feedstock availability at the district or neighborhood level, facilitating effective plant planning.

2. Mixed Feedstock Technology:

- Current Challenge: Indian plants predominantly use single-source feedstocks due to the lack of economically viable mixed feedstock processing technology.

- Opportunity: Developing technology for handling mixed feedstock would enable plants to utilize various sources, mitigating concerns regarding sourcing and shortages.

3. Utilization of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from CBG Projects:

- Current Challenge: Each tonne of CBG produced generates about 0.5 tonnes of CO2, which is currently wasted and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

- Opportunity: Capturing this CO2 for high-end applications can reduce emissions and create additional revenue streams.

4. Enrichment and Marketing of Fermented Organic Manure (FOM):

- Current Challenge: CBG projects face challenges in enriching and marketing FOM, which is rich in carbon and micronutrients but lacks nitrogen and potassium.

- Opportunity: Enriching FOM with nitrogen and potassium to meet chemical fertilizer standards can increase its acceptance among farmers and solve disposal issues.

5. Monitoring Health of Bioreactors and Microbes:

- Current Challenge: Biogas generation relies on anaerobic bacteria, whose wellbeing is influenced by environmental factors. Many facilities lack reliable systems to monitor these factors.

- Opportunity: Developing real-time monitoring systems for microbe health can enhance plant operations and ensure continuous gas production.

6. Development of Effective Feedstock Pretreatment Systems:

- Current Challenge: Feedstocks, particularly lignocellulosic ones like agricultural residue, require pretreatment before anaerobic digestion, but clarity on the benefits and costs of different methods is lacking.

- Opportunity: Creating effective and economically viable pretreatment systems can improve biogas yield and overall plant efficiency.

Government Initiatives and Policies

The Indian government has taken various steps to support the CBG sector, including the introduction of the Green Credit Programme, which incentivizes entities to plant trees and restore degraded forest lands. The Green Credit Rules, 2023, were notified to encourage voluntary environmental actions, such as tree plantation on degraded lands managed by forest departments. Additionally, the government’s Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE) movement aims to integrate sustainable practices into daily life, further supporting the CBG sector.

Conclusion

India's CBG sector presents vast opportunities for technological innovation and sustainable development. Addressing the challenges in the key areas outlined above can drive the sector's growth, enhance waste management, promote clean energy production, and contribute to India's vision of becoming a global leader in sustainable practices.


SRIRAM’s


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