Hyderabad Market Turns Tonnes of Waste into Biofuel Every Day
Indian vegetable and fruit markets tend to be bustling with crowds, bargaining vendors, and littered with waste produce. But the Bowenpally fruit and vegetable market of Hyderabad stands out, as it is managing to turn 10 tonnes of daily waste into biofuel. Handling the vegetable and fruit waste in a sustainable manner, the market converts it into biogas and electricity. For the past six months, 10 tonnes of daily waste has been generating 500 units of electricity.
Once the waste used to be worthless and ended up in landfills at the end of the day. But now every ounce of vegetable, fruit, and even flower waste is collected at the market to be used to generate around 500 units of electricity and 30 kg of biofuel.
The electricity generated powers over 100 streetlights, 170 stalls, an administrative building, and the water supply network in the region. Meanwhile, the biofuel produced is pumped into the canteen kitchen of the market.
Bowenpally selection grade secretary Lokini Srinivas said,
One would have never imagined that vegetable trash can be so valuable. This is the first initiative taken up by any vegetable market in the State to convert organic waste to electricity. We had started the project almost six months ago on a trial basis, which is now giving us very good results. For the bio-vegetable plant, we are using waste that is entirely generated here. We also collected vegetable waste from some nearby vegetable markets and supermarts. The Bowenpally market requires around 800-900 units of electricity on a daily basis, of which 500 units are now being generated from the waste management plant.
The collected vegetable waste is first put on conveyor belts that carry the waste to shredders. Then the shredded waste is then converted into sludge and is transferred into large containers or pits to start the anaerobic bio-methanation process using a special culture. Eventually, the organic waste converts into biofuel, which has two major components – methane and carbon dioxide.
Shruti Ahuja, director of Ahuja Engineering, the agency that is operating the plant for the Bowenpally market, explains that after the waste is transformed into fuel, it is put into 100 percent biogas generators, which convert the fuel into electricity, which in turn is used to power the water pumps, cold storage rooms, street and shop lights.
She said that apart from generating electricity and biofuel, the plant is also creating organic manure that can be used in farming. She believes that this waste management plant helps the environment a lot as tonnes of waste generates biofuel and biomanure instead of ending up in landfills.