CHENNAI: Mahindra World City, Mahindra Group’s industrial township in Chennai, is set to meet a significant portion of its energy needs through bio-fuels with the Union Minister of State Piyush Goyal inaugurating a Rs 1.6 crore bio-gas plant capable of converting 10 tons of food waste into bio-fuels that can power vehicles and replace LPG in kitchens.
The bio-gas plant, which Mahindra plans to market commercially, is capable of producing 1,000 cubic metres of raw bio-gas daily that can be turned into over 400 kg per day of enriched bio-gas, equivalent to quality CNG with technology developed by IIT-Delhi. The by-product manure issuing from the plant will be utilized as fertilizer or composted with organic material for compost fertilizer.
According to a company official, the bio-gas produced will power Mahindra shuttle buses inside the township and eventually be able to replace LPG inside the township’s kitchens. The buses are equipped with normal CNG buses and it will be the fuel that will be enriched to CNG standards. Additionally the 200 kW of power generated by the plant will be used to power street-lighting.
The most exciting developments to come out of the project however is the development of India’s first farm-tractor capable of running on CNG/enriched bio-gas. While the tractor is a prototype and will not be made commercial anytime soon, the plant and its technology will be promoted for adoption.
“We are willing to share the technology with entrepreneurs willing to put up plants like this. The economies of scale will then take over and the fuel produced will be commercially viable,” said Pawan Goenka, executive director and president Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors for Mahindra and Mahindra.