Fertilizers Organic Farming Soil Technology

Dry leaves into ‘soil conditioner’ CSIR-IICT developed bio-methanation technology

Dry leaves into ‘soil conditioner’ CSIR-IICT developed bio-methanation technology

The CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), which had developed a high-rate bio-methanation technology-based Anaerobic Gaslift Reactor (AGR) for the generation of biogas and bio-manure from organic waste, has now successfully demonstrated that it can be re-modeled to convert dry leaves into a ‘soil conditioner’.

Accelerated Anaerobic Composting (ACC) ensures that only bio-manure is produced, not biogas. “This is a far easier technique that costs four times less and does not require much knowledge. It only requires RCC structure and pits, no large machinery,” stated CSIR-IICT chief scientist A. Gangagni Rao on Sunday.

A ₹7.5 lakh 500-kg capacity ACC ‘demonstration’ reactor was installed in Maple Town Villas, a gated community at Sun City in Bandlaguda, at the request of the residents’ association. The reactor has been producing approximately 10 tonnes of soil conditioner for the past few months.

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Mr. Gangagni Rao, who heads the IICT’s bioengineering and environmental sciences division, stated that the organic manure generated from the dry leaves of the trees on the 40-acre community land is being used by the residents of the 275 villas for various plants and trees on the premises.

“We used dry leaves for the first time after testing them in our laboratory. The soil conditioner parameters adhere to the standards prescribed by the Union Agriculture Ministry’s fertiliser control order in terms of nitrogen, carbon, and other components,” he explained.

GHMC Commissioner Ronald Rose and his team recently visited the facility to observe the operation of the AAC plant, along with CSIR-IICT director D. Srinivasa Reddy, Maple Town Owners Association president Sudhakar Reddy, and others. KHAR Energy Optimizers completed the plant’s installation.

The plant can produce approximately 6,000 kg of soil conditioner per month. The team then went to the sewage treatment plant (STP), where sewage from the gated community was processed to produce reusable water. The future plan is to use technology to deal with domestic waste as well. “We can convert everything into biomanure with a little bit of tweaking,” said Mr. Gangagni Rao

For more than a decade, the chief scientist has successfully overseen the establishment of plants across the country that convert kitchen waste, vegetable market waste, and poultry industry waste into manure and gas.

There are approximately 30 AGR-based plants throughout the country. Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned Bowenpally vegetable market’s 10-tonne biogas plant, which generates 500 units of power, in his radio talk ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

The chief scientist stated that the IICT is ready to take on projects to treat any type of waste and certify the efficacy of bio-manure.

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