Bhopal-based Shaktistellar has developed a portable biogas unit that converts compostable kitchen waste into LPG fuel. This innovative solution can reduce the recurring LPG costs by up to 60%.
Kitchen waste accounts for 50 per cent of total household waste in India. This waste ends up in landfills adding to the pile of garbage. However, it is estimated that around 40 per cent of this waste is easily compostable. Besides this, an average Indian family consumes one cylinder a month. However, only 6 cylinders are provided at a subsidised price of Rs 400. Beyond this, the gas cylinders are provided at Rs 700-800. A Bhopal-based startup, Shaktistellar, has come up with a Portable Biogas Unit that can use degradable kitchen waste to cut down on one’s LPG costs by up to 60%. Founded by Ankit Roy and co-founded by Praveen Modi, the startup focuses on providing sustainable living solutions.
The architecture of the Portable Bigas Unit
The portable biogas unit is a compact tank model that can be installed anywhere. The tank consists of three parts – a top cover, an inner valve and a bottom cover. Other essential components of the unit include a water inlet, digestion chamber, floating dome, gas outlet & tube, and slurry outlet. Tanks are available in 3-litre capacity and 5-litre capacity. While the 5-litre tank offers a continuous gas supply for 5 hours, the 3-litre tank can run for approximately 2.5 hours. The tank gives an output of 6-7 hours of Methane. This is roughly the fuel equivalent to an LPG cylinder costing Rs 400 per month. The leftover from the process can be further used as manure for the plants.
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How Does a Biogas Unit Work?
The kitchen waste is dumped in the digestion tank that is arched by a water jacket. A one-time application of cow dung triggers the anaerobic reaction that helps in floating the dome. This results in the accumulation of waste at the bottom. Initially, it takes 14-15 days for the waste material to rot and to develop bacterias. The waste gets converted into 4 gases namely Methane, Carbon-dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide and Water Vapour. While Methane rises within the chamber, the soft slurry settles at the bottom. As the gas rises into a fibre dome, the dome exerts pressure on the gas and slurry. This pressure allows the gas to pass from the outlet to a tube that connects with the LPG burner. The slurry rises into the slurry outlet and can be collected with a bucket.
The technologically advanced model has certain upgrades to it. There is an inbuilt waste crusher that pulverizes the waste. It also consists of a filter that extracts carbon dioxide that becomes drier and filters out other gases resulting in a better flame generation. While the base model costs Rs 23,000, the advanced model is priced at Rs 43,000. The gas produced in this biogas unit is sufficient for 2-3 hrs of Indian food cooking standards (of making Dal, Roti and Rice). This biogas plant was made compact keeping in mind the household waste. It was conceptualised for small scale temporary usage. However, it’s also seeing good results when applied to a place with greater volumes of waste. A 5kg tank installed by them at a restaurant in Pune provides sufficient gas for 24 hours of cooking.
The big picture
Ankit aspires to upgrade this model by adding more sustainable features to it. The upgraded features will include the provision of a maximum solar power transfer chip. This will transfer power to the waste crusher to macerate waste material constructively. A highly user-friendly system of linking small Methane gas sensors to the mobile device to measure the gas content can also be expected.
Apart from this remarkable project, the startup has also come with other eco-friendly measures including integrated street light panels, solar rooftops, and daylight sensors. With the exponentially growing need of protecting the environment, ideas like these prove to be an indispensable source of help.
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