SERVICES / Sectoral Services

The food processing industry generates substantial amounts of waste - both solid and liquid. The handling, management and disposal by conventional methods are, though mandatory by law, cumbersome and expensive. Among the various techniques employed for cost effective and efficient utilization of such waste, bio-methanation would probably stand out not only as a novel method, but also an efficient, value-added and eco-friendly one.

Bio-methanation is the generation of biogas through anaerobic digestion of the solid-liquid organic biomass waste employing methanogenic microflora. The end products of bio-methanation are a stabilised slurry and a flammable gas - biogas. The contents of the biogas are: methane, hydrogen sulphide, CO2 etc. The digested matter can be used as a soil conditioner and organic manure.

Depending on the characteristics of the waste biomass, suitable bio-methanation system could be designed for optimal generation of biogas. This biogas in food processing industries could be well employed for firing the boilers and power gensets. This would partially but significantly reduce the burden of using high cost electrical power and fossil fuels in the plants.

A typical bio-methanation unit consists of tanks for waste homogenisation, digesters for anaerobic treatment and gas generation and holding tanks for the solid and liquid waste and the biogas. The biogas can either be used directly for boilers and stoves for cooking purposes or it can be employed for electric power generation using gas engines or turbines.

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