There was a time when countries around the world would compete within themselves for being touted as the most ‘developed country’ or the country with the best lifestyle to offer. Little did they know that this would come at an enormous price.
However a better future has been envisaged with sufficient fuel, no burning of fossil fuels, reduction in imports of petroleum products saving a huge chunk of foreign exchange every year and above all, ‘no pollution’.
Primove Engineering Pvt. Ltd, a clean tech company, based in Pune has built India’s first Bio CNG plant where Bio CNG is made using agricultural waste. This Bio CNG can be used to power automobiles with the same efficiency as fossil fuel CNG and is now dispensed under the brand name AgroGasTM.
What is Bio CNG?
Bio CNG is the purified form of biogas where all the unwanted gases are removed to produce >95% pure methane gas. Bio CNG is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas (CV: ~52,000 kJ/kg) in its composition and energy potential. As it is generated from biomass, it is considered a renewable source of energy and thus, attracts all the commercial benefits applicable to other renewable sources of energy. Bio CNG can directly replace every utility of LPG and CNG in India. It has the potential to be the future of renewable fuel because of the abundance of biomass in India.
Over 600 million tons of agricultural wastes are generated every year in the country. With very few uses of this residue, most of it is wasted. Primove’s process converts this agricultural waste into Bio CNG.
Features of Bio CNG
- Compressed natural gas made from agricultural and plant residue
- Indigenously developed through a patented technology and with a proof of concept (PoC) already up and running successfully
- Physically and chemically same as CNG that is currently being imported
- Bio CNG has a high calorific value and can be used in blast furnaces; also it can be converted into electricity
Sources of Biomass
- Agricultural residues: Farm waste or agricultural waste derived from farms or food processing
- Food waste: Wastes produced as a by-product from food-processing plants or after consumption by consumers
- Industrial waste: Bio-wastes from industries, such as sugar- manufacturing plants and beer distilleries
- MSW: Organic fraction of municipal solid waste, garbage, and sewage slurry
- Energy crops: Crops that have high energy content grown specifically for this purpose
Why to invest in Bio CNG?
• Technically feasible: Meets IS 16087 2016 Bio CNG standard for vehicles
• Economically viable: Self-sustaining and profitable market supported project
• Return on Investment: Sustained high return on investment for decades
• Environmentally sustainable: Follows carbon neutral cycle that reduces global warming
• Socially empowering: Creating India’s energy security with benefits for farmers
• Import substitution: Huge foreign exchange savings potential of lakhs of crores
• Income for farmers: Income potential of over one lakh crores for farmers
The first Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Bio CNG production facility has been set up at Pirangut in Pune with all the required permissions, licenses, and approvals. It also meets the IS 16087:2016 standards. Primove’s technology can produce over 100 million tons of crude equivalent Bio CNG per year, which is about 50 per cent of India’s fuel imports. With the technology patented by Primove, biomass can be compacted and transported in situ, stored, and distributed easily. This will cut down the costs in supply chain for Bio CNG.
A typical CNG installation can distribute about 5–10 MT of CNG per day. This daily output of 5 tons of AgroGasTM (Bio CNG) can power about:
• 70 buses (70 kg/fill)
• 500 cars (10 kg/fill)
• 800 auto rickshaws (6 kg/fill)
• Or a combination of the above
So the goal should be to take this innovation of Bio CNG plants throughout the length and breadth of India to ensure higher fuel substitution, more livelihood opportunities to the farmers and above all, reduction of carbon footprint, thereby lending a hand to the nation’s goals of undoing the wrongs of fossil fuels.