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.