India is the highest milk producing country in the world, with an annual milk production of 142 million tons in 2014-15. Indian people are drinking more milk, which means more cattle and more organic waste. Anaerobic digestion is one of the approaches to treat these wastes as this can lead to energy recovery in form of methane.
The problem of livestock waste
Livestock waste is one of the major Greenhouse Gas sources, cattle manure is actually one of the major livestock waste sources of organic solid waste that are rich in energy content and fertilizer elements. Cattle manure mainly composed of 14-15 % total solids and 80-85% volatile solids and have high Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) content. Discharge of untreated cattle dung not only, wastes potential energy tapped in this organic waste, but it is also bad for the environment and for water bodies. Due to high COD content discharge of these waste into water bodies, pathogen growth makes the water unsafe for potable use.
Biogas: long processing times
The biggest issue with the biogas plants, is that they are mostly installed on a smaller scale in rural areas. High costs of biogas production are therefore our main concern. Cost of this process is directly linked with process efficiency as HRT (processing time) of these plants are high. Another factor is methane production efficiency in the biogas. To make these processes viable it is very essential to enhance the methane proportion in biogas to 70-80% and to reduce HRT of the process. This can contribute for cost reduction of the biogas production process.
Methane (biogas) production from organic wastes is a complex process and involves multiple biological processes at various stages. Different microbial groups play role in synergy to carry out these bioprocesses that are controlled by different environmental and nutritional parameters. The microbial community dynamics of the different groups are complex and interactive. The quantities of the microbial groups influence the overall process reaction rate.
Hence, it is very essential to monitor the microbial community dynamics playing key role in biogas production performance in order to enhance the process performance by increasing the methane proportion in the biogas and by reducing the HRT of the process. Process efficiency can also be increased by augmenting robust methane producing microbes
Open for R&D collaborations
In light of the above, TERI’s research activities are focused on analysis of microbial community dynamics playing key role at different stages of the biogas production process with a goal to reduce the process HRT and increase the methane proportion efficiency in the biogas. Small-scale experimental results are promising.
We invite entrepreneurs, research organizations and corporates to reach out to us and work with us in the following areas:
- Collaborative R&D in development;
- Investment in future facing field research.
Please note that for this item the contact person is not the owner of the item, but the person below.
Dr. Sanjukta Subudhi
Senior Fellow, DBT-TERI Center of Excellence in Advanced Biofuel and Biocommodities &
Environmental and Industrial Biotechnology Division, TERI