Presently the world population is more than 7.3 billion and as per the United Nations estimates it will increase to 8 billion by 2025. To meet future energy demand it has recognized by scientist that something has to be done for the large global population of about 2 billion people live below the poverty line, whose needs have to be addressed on priority basis, so that they are not marginalized further due to globalization of economy and unequal sharing of resources and wealth.
Biogas is important source of green and clean energy. Biogas is produced from biological breakdown of organic matter in absence of oxygen. Organic material such as animal dung, kitchen waste dead plants etc. could use as gaseous fuel. Methane and carbon dioxide are two gases which provide good caloric values to biogas when used as fuel. Biogas also has small quantity of hydrogen sulphide, moisture which causes pungent smell.
Biogas produced from the anaerobic disintegration of manure in small- pit is called gobar gas; it is estimated that over two million households in India are able to use gobar gas due easily availability of cattle dung. It is popular source of fuel in many parts. The biogas plant is circular pit made of concrete with a pipe connection. The manure and waste material is directed to the pit through channels. The pit is also used waste water which helps in fermentation through bacteria. The gas pipe is connected to supply points. Biogas plant help in get rid of organic waste and cattle dung in safe manner otherwise which could have adverse impact to environment by releasing methane directly to environment and spread diseases. Biogas plant is very simple and environment friendly sustainable source of energy because more people and more cattle more waste and more dung available to use respectively.
By-product of biogas plant can be used as compost in agriculture and gardening. Most biogas plants which are operational in India are designed for cattle dung as their main raw material so very common used in rural areas. For fuel in rural area people are dependent on forest which causes damage to forest. Implementation of biogas plant help in reducing pressure on forest for fuel wood and saving in cost as compared to the use of kerosene or liquidify petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking. The biogas plant cost is around INR 8,000/- for 1 m3 capacity and Government also gives subsidy for construction of biogas plant. For one household, biogas saves 100 kg of LPG or 275 litres of kerosene per year, which is equivalent to 400 to 800 kg CO2 per year. People in village could save around 3 tonnes of wood per year with the use of biogas this helps in reduction of 5 tonnes CO2 if burnt otherwise all these gases release to atmosphere and accelerate global warming. Waste generation is directly related with population growth and we need tangible solution to get ride off from generated waste with minimum impact to environment. Production of biogas from organic waste and cattle dung is the best sustainable source of energy.
Dr Hishmi Jamil Husain is a CEESP member. His key expertise is in the field of Environment Management and Sustainable Development.
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