Biogas Plant - A Success Story from Trivandrum
Last couple of times when I visited my house, I noticed one distinct thing – the number of crows and stray dogs have reduced considerably. I realized that this was possible due to the installation of 1m3 capacity biogas plant in my house. Biogas plant not only provides part of the energy that is required in our house, but it also helps to keep our house clean. I am publishing an interview with my parents who have installed this plant in our house and making it run successfully since then so that it can serve as an inspiration for someone to install the same in their house.
First thought of biogas plant came when government increased the price of cooking gas and imposed a restriction on number of cylinders. Our passion for use of non-conventional energy also played a role. We have long back installed solar panels in our house that is used to heat the water we use daily in our house.
These days Kerala government is encouraging people to install biogas plant so that solid waste generated in the corporation/municipalities can be treated at source itself. Did you get any help from the government for installing this biogas plant?
The plant was installed by BIOTECH – a Government of India company. The total cost of this 1m3 plant is Rs 23,000/- and the government gave us a subsidy of Rs 5,000/-. The installation is free and has a warranty of 20 years.
Can you enlighten us more about this biogas plant in your house – details such as how much gas it generates in a day, what type of waste needs to be used and any other important considerations?
The 1m3 plant is ideal for a nuclear family of four members. Almost all the waste from kitchen generated from vegetables, fruits, food, fish and meat can be used. The liquid generated during initial washing (without soap) can also be used. Thus 3 kilogram of solid waste and 20 liters of wastewater (coming out of washings) is required every day for the optimum generation of biogas. Make sure that you do not put in any dry leaves, waste from lemon related fruits, onion peal, hard materials that is not easily biodegradable.
Our idle time can be used to fill the plant. No technical know-how is needed. Once these waste materials are fed, methane gas will be produced 4 hours after application till 24 hours and under optimum conditions, a single stove could provide gas for 3 hour duration.
How many hours a day you spend on a day to make this biogas unit work?
It just requires 30 minutes of your time daily.
So all the waste generated in the house (other than of course plastic) goes into your biogas plant. Now can you tell me any other advantages you have observed using biogas plant other than three hours of cooking fuel it generates?
Cleanliness of the surroundings is the main advantage. There is an appreciable reduction in the stray dogs wandering in our house. There is also huge reduction in crows or rats or houseflies around compared to the time when we did not have a biogas plant.
You told that you are getting three hours of cooking fuel from this biogas plant. Obviously the consumption of LPG cylinder you use to buy regularly could have reduced considerably. Can you please tell us how many cylinders you use before installation of biogas plant and now in your house?
Earlier we used eight cylinders per year and also we used induction cooker daily for an hour. Now we don’t use induction cooker at all. From the point of view of electricity we are saving close of 45 units per month. Earlier LPG gas cylinders were purchased almost every 45 days but after installation of biogas plant, LPG cylinder last for close to 75 days. We now require only 5 gas cylinders per year instead of 8 we used to have when we did not have biogas plant in our house.
What do you do with the slurry (waste) from the biogas plant? Is it easy to dispose off?
The slurry obtained is a good source of organic manure. The concentrated liquid obtained can be diluted and is ideal as manure for banana plantation and various vegetables. We believe if waste from vegetable market and hotels are used in biogas plant, the manure will be more efficient. We use these manure in our backyard and we are seeing a appreciable improvement in the growth of all the vegetables and banana plantation.
Any advice to anyone thinking of installing a biogas plant like this in their house?
Anyone can install this in their house if one person can spend about 30 minutes a day in preparing the feed for the biogas plant.
Do you mind if others contact you for details?
Interested people can contact us over phone or visit us to understand its working, space required to install it and other technical aspects of this biogas plant. We are more than happy to help them out. Our phone number to contact is 0471-2384950.