TURNING TRASH INTO CASH
A radical waste to energy scheme
1. Mohamed Zeeshan
2. Sachin Bhat
3. Subhash Saravanan
4. Vamsi Krishna
5. Vignesh Shekhar
Team Name: Josephites1
Source: Central pollution control board 2010-2011
It is estimated that Urban India generates 55 million tonnes of
Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) annually.
MSW generation in top 10 cities
India is set to surpass China’s total
population by 2025.
Volume of MSW generated will increase
The waste is collected in large land fills
without proper planning
Only 1.4% of the MSW collected is
disposed of properly.
The waste presently dumped on open
land causes a myriad of environmental,
health and development problems.
Demand for electricity in urban areas far exceeds the availability.
All India generating capacity in MW
Thermal Nuclear Hydro Renewable
India is the 4th largest energy consumer in
City dwellers face constant power outages
Industries, Hospitals, Schools and colleges
Significant impact on the income of daily
Only 12% of energy is derived from
There is a need to supplement the existing
systems with the means to supply for
Source: Central Electricity Authority
Turning excess waste into usable energy is a step forward in mitigating
Waste to energy
Raw materials readily available
Efficient waste reduction
Waste to be collected door to door and
from all other public places in an efficient
Collected waste to be pyrolised to create
Burning syngas will create heat required to
Ensures the cleanliness in the city
Reduces the risk of leachates from landfills
Supplements conventional energy
Residues left behind can be used in
making roads, fertilizers etc.
The composition of MSW across urban India is consistent, hence Waste
to energy (WtE) is viable
Almost half of the solid waste generated
in urban India is organic
This high percentage of organic matter
hits the sweet spot for various WtE
WtE is similar to thermal energy
Instead of fossil fuels it aims to take
advantage of the carbon present in the
From the graph, it is observed that MSW in
India has a high moisture content
Segregation Collection Treatment Generation
A bird’s eye view of the solution proposed
• Segregation of the wastes
is the most essential stage
• It will be done in the
household level as well as
in public spaces
• It will employ colour coded
waste bins and bags
• The following colour code is
to be used
• Collection of the waste will
be on a door-to-door basis
• The collected trash will be
transported to the
treatment facility in closed
• This system particularly
helps in formally employing
the rag pickers in the cities
• The collected waste is
transferred to the landfill
• The treatment facility will
• This stage requires
segregation of the
collected waste into
and other inert wastes
• The organic waste is
converted chemically into
a gas which is used in
• Heat energy can be derive
by burning this gas (syngas)
• This heat energy is used to
generate electricity and/or
provide for heating systems
• According to the MNRE its is
estimated that WtE can
yield an approximate 1500
MW of power on a national
The waste is segregated into degradable, recyclable, and inert
The wet degradable waste is dried using blowers.
This would result in reduction of the weight by half.
The dry waste is subject to PYROLYSIS.
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic
material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen.
This results in the production of syngas which is a flammable
mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.
The syngas is used to drive dynamos to generate electricity.
The generated power will vary with the quantity of waste.
Processing 300 tons per day will yield an average of 3 MW per
Impact of the proposed solution
Criteria to measure the impact
Total power generated
By-products of the process
Generation of new jobs
The proposed solution will seek to improve or resolve
the intermittent power supply in urban centres
The by-products at the end of the process will aid in
providing raw materials and/or additives for various
products in different sectors
Selling of the segregated recyclables and residual
matter will generate additional revenue
An estimated 500,000+ jobs to be created across
urban India for technical graduates as well as for
The initial phase incorporates MSW only
The technology is present to include sewage treatment as well which can be
incorporated in subsequent phases.
Deployment of digesters, incinerators and biogas generation plants in later phases will
increase overall efficiency.
The scaled up project not only helps the public sector but also manufacturing, transport
and agricultural sectors.
The mainstream deployment of the proposed system is shown below.
The challenges and risks involved
• Financially, the initial investment cost is
• The technology used to implement the
plan has to be imported
• The general public may not comply to the
strict onsite garbage segregation norms
• A “No Littering” policy is difficult to
These issues can be resolved by forming a
Public Private Partnership between the
Government and Private firms
Camps and movements to help raise
awareness and educate the public
should be initiated
2009-10 Annual Report the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
The Hindu, “India's population to surpass China's by 2025”
"ALL INDIA REGIONWISE GENERATING INSTALLED CAPACITY OF POWER". Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of
Power, Government of India.
The New York Times, “Drowning in a sea of garbage”.
The New York times, “A City That Turns Garbage Into Energy Copes With a Shortage”.
Central pollution control board
The World Bank Data Bank