'Chennai garbage can generate 12 crore litre of aviation fuel'

The 5,000 tonnes of garbage generated in the city per day has the potential to be converted to 12 crore litre of aviation fuel and 4.5 crore litre of diesel per year.

Published: 05th November 2013 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th November 2013 09:53 AM   |  A+A-

The 5,000 tonnes of garbage generated in the city per day has the potential to be converted to 12 crore litre of aviation fuel and 4.5 crore litre of diesel per year.

An expert told Express that through plasma gasification and vitrification process, a technology developed by NASA, the garbage could be generated into wealth.

Vinod Bose, coordinator in South India, for the Indian arm of US-based Solena Fuels, said his company had the proven expertise and was vying for a tie up with the State government under the public-private partnership. The cost for the project would be around Rs 3,000 crore and many European nations would go for this technology, he said and added that the investment could be recovered after a period of around eight years.

He said under the technology, segregation of garbage at source was not necessary. “It is a complete recycling process without producing any harmful products,” he says. The technology used a mixture of feedstock to power its systems, including agricultural wastes, urban wastes, or any other matter that was carbon based.

“The feedstock is prepared and fed into a plasma reactor, which holds one or more plasma torches, which heat the reactor to roughly 5,000 degree Celsius. The high temperature plasma field is used to transform all organic components into a clean and useful synthetic gas” (biosyngas), he said.

“Since, the chemistry of the reactor is controlled, the major gases formed are carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Once formed, biosyngas is sent to a gas-conditioning island where it is quenched very quickly and rapidly cooled. This cooling causes precipitation of volatile metals into the slag. This first cleaning stage removes any residual sulphur and chlorides, and the next step removes mercury. Almost 99 per cent of the particulate matter will be removed”, he explained. Once this phase was completed, the syngas would be compressed and sent to a gas turbine to produce renewable power and steam in a combined cycle or the biosyngas would be delivered to a Fischer Tropsch process to produce biofuels, including biojet fuel, bionaptha, and biodiesel.

“It is a complete recycling process without production of any harmful by-products. All processes are indoor and so there is no disturbance to the surroundings. Besides, it requires only 20 acres of land to house the project”, he said.“The fuel produced is ‘ready-to-use’ and no modifications to engines are required,’’ Bose says.

This could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, emanating from open land dumps and the project would eliminate the need for landfills or garbage dumps and free land for productive use as well as avoid pollution of the environment.

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